Stoke are huge value to finish best of the rest this season

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Stoke have been a model of consistency since Mark Hughes took over at the start of the 2013/14 season.

In each of their three campaigns with the Welshman at the helm, the Potters have finished 9th and registered points tallies of 50, 54 and 51 respectively.

A continually improving depth to their squad has helped them maintain performance levels and, in what looks an extremely tight Premier League seasons on paper, they could be dark horses.

Not only does the scrap for the top four look overpopulated between Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, but even landing in the top ten could be a tough task when Leicester, Everton, West Ham and Southampton are thrown in.

We make Stoke 7/4 to crash that party, which looks a great price considering their history. However, the better value is the 16/1 about them in the Betting Without The Big Seven Market.

In order to land that bet, Hughes’ squad would need to finish higher than the Hammers, Toffees and Saints, with the big six sides and defending champions Leicester removed from contention.

Both Everton and Southampton are under new management, which could lead to slow starts as the respective squads adjust to new strategies and methods, while West Ham must adjust to playing at a new stadium for their home games.

Each of those changes could affect the club’s ambitions this season, while Stoke can continue to build on solid foundation Hughes has put in place.

The squad has once again been strengthened with the arrival of Joe Allen in central midfield and Ramadan Sobhi on the wing.

Along with the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Arnautovic and Bojan, Stoke those new arrivals could well help Stoke spring a surprise this season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.