Stoke City v West Ham Predictions, Betting Tips & Previews
April 25, 2017
Saturday 29 April – Bet365 Stadium – Premier League
West Ham’s recent upturn in form has confidence sky high, but the Hammers’ bubble could be burst after one of the Premier League’s toughest away trips. Stoke may be in a rut, but they will always fancy their chances at home.
West Ham have only beaten Stoke in one of their last eight, with four draws and three defeats. The reverse leg of this fixture finished 1-1, while Stoke won here 2-1 last season.
The home side will be without Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay, but as both are long term absentees, Mark Hughes will not be blindsided by either casualty. Jonathan Walters should return from a knee injury, although it is unlikely the Ireland international will start.
West Ham are experiencing a worsening injury crisis as Pedro Obiang, Angelo Ogbonna, Mark Noble, Sam Byram, Andy Carroll, Gokhan Tore, Michail Antonio, Robert Snodgrass and Sofiane Feghouli are all unavailable. However, this did not stop them from beating Swansea City or outplaying Everton last week.
Stoke City vs West Ham Preview and Predictions
Being a tight match-up it is a shock that Stoke City are such heavy favourites at odds of 6/5, but it is the Potters’ home reputation which makes them such likely victors. But they are currently in their worst run since the start of the season, so West Ham at 13/5 presents great value, and considering their performance against Champions League chasing Everton in last week’s 0-0 draw, the risk is worth it.
However, although the away side managed to easily stop top scorer Romelu Lukaku, Sunderland ended their eight-hour goal drought by putting two past Darren Randolph. Such inconsistency is what leads to relegation, but Slaven Bilic’s side are already safe, meaning risks will likely be taken in game to ensure fans get their money’s worth.
Veteran forward Peter Crouch is favourite to open the scoring at 11/2, and although the former Liverpool man isn’t done yet and will always remain a plan b due to his superior height, the West Ham backline isn’t lacking stature either. Andy Carroll, also at 11/2, may not be the most gifted footballer, but his record when his team needs it is exemplary, so the England international is the logical choice for first goal scorer.
Stoke City to win 2-1 at 17/2
Bad run or not, West Ham’s inconsistencies make them fair game for any side in the Premier League, and Stoke are no exception. It is likely to be a game of few chances, but as neither goalkeeper or defensive line is standout, those chances should be taken.
Marko Arnautovic to score any time at 9/4
The Austrian may have flopped in Serie A, Bundesliga and on the international stage, but he has always been there for Stoke. Although he’s never been a high scorer, the Hammers’ left side has been rudderless without Antonio, so he should have an easier job than usual.