Stoke v Cardiff: Home win on the cards for Mark Hughes’ men

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As hard as it might be to believe, there are people in this world that don’t value Stoke’s participation in the Premier League.

Perceived as a set of whopping great defenders, who whack the ball forward to equally sizeable forwards with brutal, tough-tackling midfielders snapping at opponents’ ankles to get the ball back, Stoke are a side that do what’s necessary to survive.

To that end, their mentality should be roundly applauded, not dismissed out of hand as a disease on the world’s premier footballing division. The Potters people are not stupid either, they know that, in line with that well-worn footballing cliche, they must pick up the majority of the points they need to survive at home, and that is exactly what they do.

Since bulldozing their way into the big-time, Stoke have never lost more than six home games during a campaign. That record number of defeats came some five seasons ago and the majority of their losses usually come at the hands of the sides who finish in the European places. In fact, they’ve lost just five home games in total to teams from the bottom half of the table in their five completed Premier League campaigns.

With lowly Cardiff coming to town, a 11/10-rated win for Mark Hughes’ side should be the way to go at the Britannia.

Neither side is in any form to shout about – they’ve won a combined two matches over their last 17 outings – and as a consequence neither has a goal scoring record you’d want to throw money at. Stoke have managed five at home so far, while Malky Mackay’s side have notched four away.

But, what is apparent is Stoke’s steely nerve in front of their own crowd which, when coupled with their six-game strong unbeaten record against the Bluebirds, makes a home win all the more likely.

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.