iBet: Don’t expect fireworks as Stoke go back to basics
Sunderland V Stoke, kick off 8pm, Sky Sports 1
Back the draw at 12/5
Lay over 3.5 goals at 3.9 to one with Betfair
Stoke are on 40 points which is normally enough to secure Premier League safety. But the required figure could be 41 this season. And in what’s a very tough game to call, the draw might be the best option here as there are few better sides at keeping a game tight when they need to than The Potters.
Following back-to-back wins after taking over from Martin O’Neill, Paulo Di Canio was served a generous helping of reality in his last game when the Black Cats were turned over 6-1 at Villa Park. Prior to those two victories, Sunderland had gone nine games without a win and had included defeats to Reading and QPR in that sequence, so any confidence is likely to be fragile. After a dreadful run of one league win in 13 games since the turn of the year which also saw Stoke concede more than they normally do, Tony Pulis has gone back to basics to secure back-to-back wins against QPR and Norwich, keeping clean sheets both times. He will surely adopt a similarly stoic approach here, so it’s unlikely to be a goal fest and the draw is a big runner and probably the best value.
With Aston Villa and Wigan both grabbing vital away wins at the weekend there has been a shake up in the relegation betting. Wigan are still odds on in places but you can get 2.28 with Betfair and they do have a potential route out with two wins. Norwich are now 7/2, Newcastle 5/1, Sunderland 10/1 and Villa, who are playing well but may still need another point and have two tricky fixtures, 33/1.
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