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Football returns to the Premier League on Saturday and one of the big games to keep your gambling eye on is Stoke vs. Manchester City. There’s a canyon of difference between the two sides, and last season there were a massive 36 points separating the clubs by the time the final whistle of the season blew. It's pretty clear which side has the makings of a winning soccer pick, but let's take a closer look.
If you don’t think that tells you something about the gulf that Stoke will be trying to bridge, here's another tip: Man City scored 66 goals last season; Stoke scored just 45. Stoke may be a tough side to beat, with just 14 losses all last season (West Brom, who finished 5 places above the Potters, had 17), but they don’t win that often. Stoke managed to take maximum points from just nine league games last season, while City won 23.
Enough with the difference… WHERE’S THE MONEY MIKE?
Before telling you who's going to win, I first need to let you know that Stoke hosting Man City usually ends drawn, and drawn 1-1 at that. This time last year When City travelled to Stoke, they found themselves (for the fifth time) drawing with the hosts when the game ended 1-1. A repeat of a draw is listed at 12/5 soccer betting odds, while a repeat of a 1-1 is at 6/1. However, if you believe in carbon copies, back Stoke to open the scoring and the game to be tied on the 45' and the 90', the latter is at available at 9/2.
The last (non-league) time these sides met at this ground, it was another tight affair. During the FA Cup, the game was tied and goalless going into the last five minutes before Pablo Zabaleta popped one in to give the visitors the game.
And… don’t forget that when these sides played out the 2011 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Yaya Toure scored the only goal to win the trophy for the Manchester side.
History Ain’t What It Used to Be
History does keep repeating with these sides. For the record, the last two games between these sides -played in Manchester- ended by the same score line of 3-0, something offered up at 10/1 this time around.
However, I feel the deadlock has been broken. Back a mere 1-0 to Man City if you hold your manhood cheap, but your Humble Handicapper feels more goals in his bones.
Don’t forget that City have scored 8 goals so far this season, and Stoke have only kept one clean sheet so far in their three league games. Your sports picks in this match can't get any clearer.
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