West Brom, Stoke, Leicester: Who’ll win the battle of the Midlands?
On the whole, you’d say things are going swiftly in the Midlands right now for the three Premier League outfits, West Brom, Stoke City and Leicester City. None of that trio look set to go down, while the Top 10 should be a realistic goal for all three.
But who’ll claim local pride?
As things stand, just eight points separate these three, with the Baggies top of this mini Midlands table, while the Potters are two points behind them and the reigning Premier League Champions are back in third.
Given the blistering start that Tony Pulis’ men have had to this season, it’s no surprise to see them as the even-money favourites in this race.
But that wasn’t the case back in August.
In fact, it was Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester who were the 2/7 favourites before a ball was kicked, with Stoke next in the running at 7/2 while Albion were 8/1 outsiders.
In terms of recent form, none of these sides have set the league alight. Of their last five games and a possible 45 points combined, the Midlands trio have picked up just 18, with Stoke taking seven of those, while WBA and Leicester have taken six and five respectively.
All in all, it looks like it could be a slow and steady race to the finish line for this lot.
But one thing which would draw us away from backing the Foxes to claim local bragging rights, aside from the fact they’re already eight points behind West Brom, is that their priority will be on the Champions League.
A solid run in Europe combined with Premier League survival would more than satisfy fans.
That leaves Stoke and West Brom to battle it out for top spot. And currently priced at 9/5 it’s Pulis’ former side in Staffordshire who we’d be leaning towards.
They’re just two points and one place off the Baggies, and have finished above them in each of the last three seasons.
You’d also argue the Baggies have a more difficult end to the campaign, with trips to Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City still to come. And that’s before their final two games, one being at home to a Chelsea side that could potentially be playing for the title.
And on the final day of the season, the Baggies travel to South Wales to take on Swansea City – who might just be playing to keep their Premier League status.
While on paper it may seem like this trio have very little left to play for – this is a market which is certainly worth keeping an eye on in the coming months.
But who do you think will come out on top?
Have your say in the comments section below!
Ladbrokes Latest Betting
Top Midlands Club:
West Brom – Evens
Stoke City – 9/5
Leicester City – 11/4
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing