Premier League Picks for Sunday's Stoke City vs. Swansea City

Lee Phelps

Saturday, October 18, 2014 7:11 PM GMT

We could see a rare of example of a home team playing counter-attacking soccer this weekend as Stoke welcome Swansea in the Premier League. Our tipster is looking at the tactics to find a betting angle and provide you with some free picks from the odds on the games.

It’s the battle of two teams who have their sights set on a top 10 Premier League finish, incidentally Stoke would be my pick of the two at 21/10, but we’re looking at this match first and foremost. The soccer odds see Stoke at 6/4, Swansea at 23/10 and the draw 21/10 over at 5Dimes. It’s one of those games where you can make an argument for any of the three results and they’re all backable.

 

Stoke
The Potters’ issue so far has been turning their attacking play into goals, with just one win at home and one goal, they’re in danger of losing their tag of being a tough nut to crack at the Britannia Stadium.

I talked about Stoke’s counter-attacking style ahead of their best Premier League moment so far when they beat Manchester City and have wondered how they are going to turn the system into an effective way of playing at home. Swansea could well suit their style, with the Welsh team more than happy to keep the ball and maintain patience until they see an opening. Looking back at Swansea’s last trip to play Mark Hughes’ men they had 64% of the possession, so I see no reason for this not to happen again.

Peter Crouch has been in the news this week talking about how he would like to stay at Stoke, he’s also been playing very well lately, with the odd goal to his name. He’s actually scored on each of the Swans’ last three visits, getting four goals in the trio of games. Added to the fact one of Swansea’s weaknesses is defending set pieces, it may well be worth backing Crouch anytime here.

The thing niggling with me is Stoke’s profligacy in front of goal, they are fifth best at shots on goal, but 15th on shots on target, so they need to sharpen up at home to start turning their decent displays into winning results.

 

Swansea
The South Welsh team sent away a few players on international duty, but it may well work in their favour if everyone comes back fit. Wilfried Bony followed up his first Premier League goal by scoring for Ivory Coast (he also missed a penalty) and Gylfi Sigurdsson starred in Iceland’s win over the Netherlands scoring both goals.

For all that early season promise Garry Monk’s side showed, they have now gone four Premier League games without a win. Looking more closely I’d question how good that form was early on. The win over Manchester United owed more to the home team’s inadequacies, the 1-0 over Burnley was a little fortunate, they were fairly poor in the second half. The win over West Brom was a good performance and there’s no doubt they have done well, I just think they are being a little over hyped.

The aforementioned Bony is a striker I really rate and after he opened his Premier League account this season, I vowed to back him on his next appearance. Monk rested him after the last international break and with him playing this Wednesday night in Africa, he will be back a lot later than the European players. He’s only started one of the three games on the road, so I’ll keep my powder dry until they play Leicester at home next week.

 

Soccer Picks
I believe Stoke are slowly improving (I’m willing to forgive them the 3-1 defeat at Sunderland – just) and think Swansea are slowly levelling out to their true position (between 12th and 16th). Swansea’s low shot count away from home (just seven shots on target in three games) and the amount of chances they allow home teams (60 shots have been fired on the Swans’ goal in those three matches) is taking me towards a solid, controlled Stoke win at 6/4. Peter Crouch is 11/4 to score anytime and I like that too for my soccer picks. My only quandary is which bet I prefer!

Free Soccer Pick: Peter Crouch to score anytime 11/4

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