Stoke City 13/2 to grind out third successive win to-nil at Sunderland
Sunderland will be desperate to avoid a repeat of last week’s Monday nightmare 6-1 hammering when Stoke City arrive on Wearside on a two-game winning run. With goalless Danny Graham the Black Cats only senior striker available, they’ll struggle to break down a Potters defence which has kept three clean sheets in their last six matches and the visitors can nick a win to nil at the handsome price of 15/2.
The loss of Stephane Sessegnon to suspension was a sour footnote to Sunderland’s Villa Park flaying and the wily Beninese will be a big loss for Paulo Di Canio, with only the crocked Steven Fletcher scoring more goals and Adam Johnson contributing more assists to the cause this term.
Stoke have recovered their early season ability to grind out results at an ideal juncture, winning their last two games against QPR and Norwich to-nil to climb virtually free of relegation’s grasping tentacles. With Sunderland robbed of all but their most ineffectual striker and the Potters scoring more than once in just one of their last 13 away outings, a single goal will be enough to settle this – under 1.5 total match goals is 7/4 with Coral.
At five, Sunderland have scored less headed goals than any of their Premier League rivals and in combination with their injury-and-suspension-induced lack of alternative goal avenues Stoke can be backed to keep a clean sheet at the Stadium Of Light at 27/10.
Tony Pulis’ decision to bring Peter Crouch back into his starting line up after a two game hiatus has paid dividends for Stoke, with his beanpole hit man notching at Loftus Road and in amongst the action again next time out when missing a inviting opportunity against Norwich. The ex-England man is 2/1 to add to a – by his standards – measly total of seven goals for his club this season during the encounter.
Confidence started to flow back into the Potters play as soon their first Loftus Road goal rippled the net and they’re fancied to grab another rare away win against Sunderland. The Peter Crouch/1-0 first goal scorer scorecast is a juicy 35/1.