Spirited Sunderland to pile more misery on sorry Stoke
Sunderland were deserved winners against Man City and Gus Poyet’s newly-organised side can land a tasty 11/4 punt at Stoke.
The Black Cats have won three of their last four in all competitions and a sole Phil Bardsley goal against Manuel Pellegrini’s team was enough to secure a much-needed three points.
Whilst the result was a joy for fans on Wearside, they should have taken just as much heart from the spirited and, perhaps more importantly, disciplined performance from every Sunderland man on the pitch.
Poyet’s team may sit in 19th position but the damage to their season was done under former boss Paolo Di Canio and there has been a marked improvement since Poyet took over.
Bet on Sunderland to beat Stoke at 11/4
His side look much more organised and they are a much more solid proposition at the back; they have conceded just two goals in their last three Premier League matches compared to a whopping 20 in their previous nine.
The threat posed by Stoke is a somewhat toothless one, despite the Potters notching three against Swansea.
The latter were uncharacteristically slack that day and only a contentious penalty in the last minute prevented Mark Hughes’ side from falling to a poor defeat; they were 2-0 up at half-time.
Bet on Sunderland to win 1-0 at 17/2
Scoring goals at home has been a sticking point for Stoke, with a fluke goal from goalkeeper Asmir Begovic their only strike in their last four home matches.
Hughes’ team lie in 17th and the stark reality for the home fans is that their attack is just not strong enough at this level to play the less direct football that Hughes favours.
Stoke always posed a potent threat under Tony Pulis, especially at home, however the fast and physical style of play was intimidating to visiting teams.
However that fear has long gone.
They have only won two of their last 10 matches at the Britannia Stadium and, whilst they have raised their game for the bigger teams, they have not impressed against fellow strugglers.
Norwich beat them 1-0 back in September, whilst Hughes’ side had to come from behind to beat a poor Crystal Palace side.
Bet on no goalscorer at 8/1
With goals at a premium then, the 8/1 about no goalscorer looks a suitable back-up plan, and the 8/15 about under 2.5 goals is a suitable option for those who like a short priced wager.
Six of Stoke’s 11 Premier League matches this season have been won by a solitary goal so it might not be wise to expect one team to run away with the match.
On a similar note, all of Poyet’s four games as Sunderland boss have been decided by just a solitary goal and the 17/2 about the visitors winning 1-0 is also worth close consideration.
Sunderland to beat Stoke at 11/4