Soccer Picks: Arsenal vs. Stoke City

Nila Amerova

Thursday, September 19, 2013 8:35 PM GMT

Arsenal takes on Stoke City in Week 5 of Premier League action. Join us as we breakdown this matchup, complete with free soccer picks for your consideration.

Check out our 2013-14 English Premier League Betting Futures report!

Can Stoke snap Arsenal’s enviable winning run or will the Gunners continue to form?

Arsenal continue winning form

Arsenal ride into week 5 of Premier League betting on a wave of momentum; since their hapless 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa, they’ve have bounced back strong. Admirably so, and silencing critics in the process.

The Gunners have won six in a row across all competitions including the midweek clash with Olympique Marseille in Champions League. This latest victory was a statement-making win given that Arsenal’s group in Europe’s top-flight competition is considered the ‘Group of Death’ by many. To come away with crucial three-points in such a group, on the road to boot, puts Arsenal in a favourable position. A very favourable position indeed.

It also sends them into domestic commitments with plenty of optimism and confidence, which they will need against a very tough Stoke City, make no mistake.

Stoke City enjoying positive form

Stoke City are enjoying a rich vein of form across several competitions since their opening 1-0 defeat to Liverpool. They are undefeated in their last four games, a run of form that included a scoreless draw to Manchester City last weekend.

To hold Man City, one of the season’s favourites to win the title, to a draw is no mean feat. There are plenty of positives already on the new season, including that match, for Stoke to take into their third big clash on the season, second in as many weeks.

Betting on the winner

Strictly speaking the odds makers are correct to tip Arsenal as the huge favourites to win outright at -275. Although the club’s big reputation precedes it and has a hand in shaping betting odds, it’s their run of form right now that underscores those soccer odds. A distant memory is the poor start on the season as Arsenal steadily climbs the table (they are a point shy of Liverpool at the top of the table).

Frankly, so formidable are the Gunners right now that it’s highly unlikely Stoke City would mastermind the upset and even more unlikely that they would accomplish it at the Emirates. As such, it’s hardly surprising that a Stoke win is priced at +750 at Bet365. Their positive run of form however does lend the +400 draw bet a rather appealing stance. If Stoke can hold Man City to a draw they can fancy their chances against Arsenal, no?

Soccer Betting Verdict

Arsenal are the correct favourites in this match and most likely the smart soccer pick. Stoke however, is a whole new team under Hughes and already the side is enjoying one of their best starts to a season (they are seventh in the table, hobnobbing with some big names such as Man City, Man U and Chelsea to name a few). This is not a side to be underestimated. As such, for those inclined towards a contrary result, the draw bet at +400 is a reasonable alternative.

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Soccer Pick: Bet Arsenal to win outright at -275, at Bet365

Betting the Totals

Three of four Premier League matches have gone over the 2.5 total for Arsenal, including the defeat to Aston Villa. Arsenal have scored eight goals in four games which yields a 2-goal per game average and they’ve conceded five goals which yields a 1.25-goals per game conceded. It should be pointed out as well that in their last two domestic fixtures Arsenal (both times) scored three goals and conceded 1 goal. On the flipside, Stoke City have scored three goals in four Premier League games for an average of 0.75-goals per game and conceded two for an average of 0.5-goals conceded per game.

Going on all this, the sports betting balance tips towards an Over 2.5 result here as well, which can be found at -138 at Bet365 compared to the Under 2.5 at +108.

Arsenal have the creativity and firepower to score many goals. As such, they should be able to get past a very stoic Stoke defense and score a couple of times minimum. At the same time, Arsenal’s backline can be shaky, which if Stoke City exploits should see them score at least once. All in all, this should be a highly entertaining match, if lopsided. We’re plumping down to it being so.

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Soccer Pick: Bet this match to go OVER 2.5 goals, priced at -150 at William Hill

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