Premier League Preview and Prediction: Stoke City vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Stoke City vs. Manchester City

Venue: Bet365 Stadium – Saturday, August 20 – 12:30 BST (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Stoke City 19/5 – Draw  14/5 – Manchester City 7/10

Match Preview

Stoke City welcome Manchester City to the newly named Bet365 Stadium in Pep Guardiola’s first away trip in the Premier League, and its arguably one of the hardest places to visit.

Stoke will feel disappointed with the opening day draw with Middlesbrough. Albeit a tricky away trip to a newly promoted team, Mark Hughes will feel like his side could have potentially come away with three points.

It will be a huge task for Stoke to try and improve on last year with the only notable signing thus far being Joe Allen from Liverpool. Their respectable total of 51 points last season will be a tough tally to beat.

However, consistency may be key for the Potters as they have managed to avoid any major exits and are looking to bolster their squad as far as we are aware. A mid-table finish would be a good season for Stoke this year.

Embed from Getty Images

Manchester City have spent big to support Pep Guardiola’s quest for a debut season Premier League title and the bookmakers have them as favourites at the moment.

A dominant display against Sunderland last Saturday was expected but they were far from convincing in the final third, which is not a common fate in Guardiola sides.

However, the main talking point from the opening weekend was the omission of Joe Hart from the starting line up, which has seen the rumours of an imminent move doing the rounds.

Guardiola’s arrival promises excitement and a forward thinking approach that should refresh the league as a whole, but he risks destabilising a well-assembled squad with big decisions like the Hart omission.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Stoke City’s Stephen Ireland and Ibrahim Afellay are out till the new year with a broken leg and a ruptured ACL respectively. Glen Johnson has a thigh muscle strain and the game comes to soon for his return. Jack Butland could make his return from an ankle injury that kept him out of the Euros, but he is a doubt.

Manchester City have three injuries to deal with as Leroy Sane is still without a return date on his hamstring. Vincent Kompany is still out with a thigh strain and Ilkay Gundogan has a knee injury. Joe Hart is expected to stay on the bench with a move seeming closer by the day.

Key Points

Stoke City’s form: D

Manchester City’s form: W

Key Stat: Sergio Aguero has scored six goals in his six appearances against Stoke City.

Key Player: Raheem Sterling – After a Euros to forget for the young England winger, he was clearly out to impress on his new manager’s debut. It will be interesting to see if he can fulfil his full potential under Pep Guardiola.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Stoke City 1-3 Manchester City  Stoke away is always a tough ask, but City’s dominance in possession last weekend should provide an indication for how this game will be played. Expect Stoke to be a threat on the counter but City should win comfortably.

Advertisements

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Stoke vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Stoke City vs. Tottenham Hotspur 

Venue: Britannia Stadium – Monday, April 18 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: Stoke City 7/2 – Draw 13/5 – Tottenham Hotspur 4/5

Match Preview

Stoke City host Tottenham in this week’s Monday night Premier League clash as title-chasing Spurs will look to keep the pressure on Leicester through the final stretch of the campaign.

The Potters have been refreshing at times this season, playing an aggressive style of football which has broken the old style set by Tony Pulis. Mark Hughes really has to be credited for the attractive football they now play and he will look back over the season as a successful one.

Saying that, recent form has been less than ideal as they have only won once in their last five in the top flight. They will be looking to make sure their hard work this season results in a top half finish, which is more than deserved.

Stoke come into the game off the back of their 4-1 thumping at the hands of Liverpool last week and will need to avoid a second-straight heavy defeat to Spurs here.

Embed from Getty Images

Tottenham on the other hand will want to push Leicester City all the way in this year’s title race. The Lilywhites have their best ever chance to win the league and the 3-0 win over Manchester United last Sunday illustrates they are not giving up easily.

Being the highest scorers and having the best defence would usually win you the title but this year Leicester’s incredible success has kept them ahead of Spurs. They look set to remain above the North London outfit for the rest of the way but nothing can be ruled out.

Spurs are relying on a slip up from the Foxes on Sunday but Spurs fans have plenty of reason for optimism even if they don’t win the title this year. You get the feeling they are a team that is destined for years at the top, with an excellent young side being coached by an excellent manager in Mauricio Pochettino.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Stoke City will be without Jack Butland (ankle), Jon Walters (knee), Glen Johnson (knee), Marc Wilson (knee). Glenn Whelan (back), Marko Arnautovic (knee), Marc Muniesa (knock) are all doubts. Erik Pieters is suspended.

Tottenham Hotspur are definitely without Nabil Bentaleb who has a knee injury. Clinton N’Jie (knee) and Harry Kane (hip) are doubts but the latter is expected to still start up front as he has done in every game up to this point.

Key Points

Stoke City’ last five: D/L/W/D/L

Tottenham Hotspur’s last five: D/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Tottenham have only lost once in their last fifteen away trips in the Premier League.

Key Player: Dele Alli – The young England midfielder has not ceased to amaze this year and has a deserved nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award. His partnership with Harry Kane may prove the difference once again in another huge game for Spurs.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Stoke City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur – Tottenham have been – depending what way you look at it – the Premier League side with the most quality this year, easily playing the most attractive style of football. We expect a routine victory on Monday night at Stoke to keep faint title hopes alive.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Swansea City vs West Ham United

Competition: Premier League – Swansea City vs. West Ham United

Venue: Liberty Stadium – Sunday, December 20 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 EST)

Match Odds: Swansea City 11/10 – Draw 23/10 – West Ham United 13/5

Match Preview

Swansea City welcome West Ham to the Liberty stadium on Sunday afternoon in the hope of finally ending a dreadful run that has seen them fail to win in the Premier League since October.

With only one win in 13 in all competitions, the Swans are in dire need of points and will now need to pick up without Garry Monk, following his sacking a fortnight ago.

Monk’s departure has made December a lot tougher than it already was for the Welsh side as many big managerial names have ruled themselves out of the running, and their search for a successor could be difficult.

Embed from Getty Images

Their performance at Manchester City was better last week and they will feel the defeat was unjust in the end. They need to rally to try and pick up three points here to take pressure off the remaining games during the hectic Christmas period.

Swansea City’s record in the Premier League: P16 – W3 – D5 – L8

Things aren’t much better for the travelling side as West Ham haven’t won in the Premier League since October 24. Much of the reasoning is down to the loss of their star player Dimitri Payet. The playmaker has been sensational but is out for a while still with an ankle sprain.

West Ham are losing pace with the top four, despite a fantastic start, and are finding it hard without the creativity of Payet and more recently Manuel Lanzini.

The loss of form the Hammers suffered in the second half of last season was well documented and they need to avoid a repeat to ensure the club remain on an upward path ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium next summer.

West Ham United’s record in the Premier League: P16 – W6 – D6 – L4

Embed from Getty Images

This will be the seventh Premier League meeting between Swansea and West Ham. The Swans have only beaten their opponents once in their last six meetings, and haven’t won in any of the last five, so West Ham may hold the advantage as far as recent history goes.

Team News

Swansea City may be missing Jonjo Shelvey as he struggles with a calf strain, but he could feature. Andre Ayew may slot back into midfield as he played as a lone striker in the loss to Manchester City.

West Ham United are without Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Diafra Sakho, Victor Moses and Winston Reid through injury. Andy Carroll is a doubt but should play some part. Injuries are costing the Hammers at the worst time of the season and so Slaven Bilic will have some important decisions to make in balancing his side.

Key Points

Swansea City’s last five: L/D/L/L/L

West Ham United’s last five: D/L/D/D/D

Key Stat: Swansea have lost five of their last six matches, scoring just three goals in that time.

Key Player: Andre Ayew – Swansea are desperate for points as they try and steer themselves clear of the relegation battle and Ayew is their greatest asset in attack. He will be key to their chances on Sunday.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Swansea City 1-1 West Ham United – Neither side seem to have the desire and quality to beat teams at the moment. With their star players not performing on a consistent basis and both without a win in five, a score draw seems inevitable.