Stoke v West Brom Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
December 19, 2017
Bet365 Stadium – Premier League
It’s a relegation zone three-pointer as West Brom travel to Stoke looking for their first Premier League victory since August. The hosts already have a win under their belt in December, but sit just two points and two places above their weekend rivals.
The reverse fixture this season was a closely contested 1-1 draw, in which Peter Crouch equalised after a Jay Rodriguez goal.
Stoke’s defensive crisis continues with both Kurt Zouma and Bruno Martins Indi out for the near future, and the out-of-favour Glenn Johnson a major doubt due to a knee injury. Stephen Ireland remains a long-term absentee, without a game this season.
For West Brom, Craig Dawson and James Morrison remain out with knee and Achilles problems respectively. Nacer Chadli is finally nearly a return for the Baggies after a month out, whilst Matt Philips is facing a late fitness test.
Stoke v West Brom Preview and Predictions
Stoke’s last game ended with a 3-0 defeat at home to West Ham, the precise opposite of Mark Hughes’ intended response to a narrow defeat by Burnley in the previous round. The Potters, who have conceded the most in the league, showed signs of improvement in the 1-0 loss, with their resolute defending a positive for their manager. However, against the Hammers, Hughes’ men were absolutely torn to shreds, after Lanzini earned an early, and admittedly very soft penalty.
Against West Brom, Hughes faces the second weakest attack in the Premier League, and for this reason merits their 6/5 odds as favorites. If the Potters can keep their opponents out, they have scored more goals than any side in the lower half of the table, and will be confident of a win. Xherdan Shaqiri in particular has been in strong form this season, and is 13/2 as first goalscorer.
Since taking over at the Hawthornes, Alan Pardew has helped turn his side’s loses into draws, pulling his side closer to safety. In spite of this, West Brom are really struggling on the goal front, with no players having scored more than twice with the mid-season point approaching.
In the last round, the Baggies were defeated 2-1 by Manchester United, relying on Gareth Barry for their goal. If West Brom are to have any chance of survival, they need their strikers to find some form, with Salamon Rondon a particular disappointment, and is 13/5 to score anytime against Stoke.
Diouf to score anytime at 2/1
Partnered up front with Crouch, Diouf will be looking for knockdowns throughout and could get the better of a West Brom defence that is far from the quickest in the Premier League.
Under 2.5 goals at 5/4
Stoke can’t defend, West Brom can’t attack, hardly a recipe for a high-scoring game.