West Brom v Stoke City Betting Tips: Hosts can come out on top at The Hawthorns
Football writer Thomas Giles previews the upcoming Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City.
As West Brom take on Stoke City on Saturday afternoon, an interesting subplot is that disgraced former West Brom striker Saido Berahino goes back to The Hawthorns following his move to Stoke in January.
West Brom are going under the radar this season and are currently in a fantastic 8th position in the Premier League. Despite this, Tony Pulis still insists that his side are not yet safe as they have not reached the 40 point mark. They drew 1-1 away at Middlesbrough during mid-week – a match that they really should have won given the chances they had, however, they will definitely be safe this season.
In classic Tony Pulis style, the Baggies are very solid at the back and have only conceded 29 times in the league this season – just one more than title challengers Liverpool and Manchester City.
People will say they lack goals but actually, their record of 31 scored is pretty good and betters the two teams below them in the top ten.
One place you can never discount the Albion is their home ground of The Hawthorns and particularly in recent weeks where they have won five of their last six Premier League games whilst they have only lost three times at home in the league this season, all of which came against what you would call ‘top teams’.
After a wobbly run of no wins in five before the new year, Stoke have recovered to win two of their last four matches in the Premier League. It probably should have been three out of four if not for a Wayne Rooney wonder goal a fortnight or so ago. This decent run has pushed the Potters up into ninth but they will still be looking to push on before the end of the season.
Manager Mark Hughes has no doubt changed Stoke’s playing style to a more attacking one, however, with just 29 goals scored this season, the front-line has been rather disappointing. Furthermore, the defence also looks pretty vulnerable with Stoke keeping just one clean sheet in their last eight in all competitions.
Stoke won their latest away match at relegation-threatened Sunderland to stop a rot of three straight defeats on the road – although it must be mentioned that these came against Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea. However, even before that results were not great with the Potters taking just nine points from ten away games.
Although Stoke are on a relatively good run of form, It’s hard to look past West Brom here given their excellent record at The Hawthorns. 11/8 represents good value on a team who’ve won five of their last six at home.
Another bet to go for is ‘West Brom to Win & Over 1.5 Goals’ at 21/10. Stoke aren’t looking secure at the back right now, while West Brom have certainly proved their attacking credentials on home soil this season. Additionally, Albion have scored two or more goals in all five of those recent victories at The Hawthorns.
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