Stoke v Sunderland: Dreary afternoon in store in the Potteries
Stoke and Sunderland’s Premier League clashes, at the Britannia at least, do not make for exciting reading and we can consider it a favour from the broadcasting powers-that-be that this one has been swerved to be one of this weekend’s televised games.
These are arguably the least exciting of all teams to watch in the division, whose lack of quality is compensated for by a hard-nosed, bludgeoning approach to breaking down opponents. Three from four meetings at Stoke have finished 1-0, the same number of which the hosts have won, hence their price of 1/1 for victory here.
Martin O’Neill’s men snapped a run of three straight defeats at the Britannia when James McCLean’s goal was enough to settle the contest last season in a 1-0 triumph, which is priced at 8/1 to happen again. For Stoke to get revenge by recording their all-too-familiar 1-0 win, Ladbrokes are offering 5/1.
The Potters have Glenn Whelan back in training and the midfielder is in contention for this one, while Sunderland will have Lee Cattermole to call on again after the umpteenth suspension of his short career. These combative individuals are the type of players who define these clubs’ styles of play and both managers will be hoping they’re ready for action.
This contest will be a case of the immovable object meeting another equally unimpressive immovable object, so there won’t be much to choose between the teams. For this reason, over/under bettors will surely be erring on the negative side of 2.5 goals, which pays out, rather reasonably, at 4/7.
A one-goal margin of victory offers the best bet on this match, though it’s difficult to say which way it will swing, given the distinct mediocrity these share, making it impossible to split them. A Stoke win by a single goal is available at 3/1, whereas a Sunderland win by the same deficit is priced up at a tempting 9/2.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date