Stoke City - Man City Premier League Picks: Game’s 1st. Goal Scorer Prop Offers Huge Betting Value

SBR Staff

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 6:01 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 6:01 PM UTC

Expert handicapper previews and offers free soccer betting predictions for the Premier League match between Stoke City & Manchester City playing on Saturday.

Stoke have been out of sorts of late and you would expect league leaders Man City to waltz into town and seize all three points from this game. The Citizens have also struggled throughout November – losing to Juventus in the Champions League, taking a hiding against Liverpool and struggling to a 0-0 draw with bottom club Aston Villa – but they returned to winning ways last weekend with a thoroughly convincing win against Southampton. They returned to the top of the table and – despite their wildly erratic form – they are on paper the best team in the league and deserve their status as favourites to lift the coveted trophy in May. 

But they need to build up a bit of momentum in the league and they have been boosted by the return of star striker Sergio Aguero. They struggled in his absence, but they are a different animal with him up front. His pace frightens the life out of opposing defenders and leaves teams stretched, allowing the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling more room in which to work their magic. Stoke have tough centre backs that relish a battle, but they are better suited to taking on tough, physical opponents like Diego Costa or Olivier Giroud. They are likely to struggle against a quick, intelligent and crafty player like Aguero. William Hill has -142 on Man City claiming an away win in this game and that looks like a great soccer pick. Man City’s erratic form may put off some punters, but they have still won nine of 14 league matches this season and are coming up against a Stoke side that is equally erratic. 

Stoke were feeble in a 2-0 defeat against relegation strugglers Sunderland last weekend. But before that they secured back-to-back wins against Southampton and Chelsea. Every time you expect Stoke to lose, they win, and every time you expect them to win, they lose. You never really know which Stoke side is going to turn up – ditto Man City – which leaves bettors in a bit of a pickle. But if you consider the two sides on paper, Man City should have far too much pace, guile and creativity going forwards for Stoke to handle, and should prevail in this match. 

But it will not be easy for them. You would expect quite a tight, low-scoring game. There have not been more than 2.5 goals in a Stoke game since September, and the +100 offered by Bet365 and various others on under 2.5 goals in this game looks a good bet. You can get +700 on a 1-0 win for Man City, which is probably the most likely outcome in this match. 
If you are feeling more cautious, look at Man City draw no bet, which is -400 at William Hill

There is a lot of fun to be had in picking out the game’s first goal scorer. It is hard to overlook Aguero, who is by far the deadliest striker in the league. He is +350 with Boyle Sports, which is a good price for a player so integral to everything Man City do going forwards. However, he is not at his sharpest after coming back from injury, still needing game time to get up to full match fitness, so this may present an opportunity for a teammate to capitalise. De Bruyne is +700 with William Hill to score first, which is a great price offered in the soccer odds board the for a player who has four goals in nine league games this season. He is wonderfully composed in front of goal and will give Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland nightmares. He grabbed the first goal in City’s last game against Southampton and could well repeat the feat here. He is also +275 with Betway to score at any time in this game, and that looks a fantastic bet.

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