Stoke vs. Aston Villa: Premier League Betting Preview
Successes over Blackburn, Everton, Tottenham and Wolves propelled Tony Pullis’ men well into the top half after a sticky patch and Stoke will have lost no confidence following the 3-0 reversal at the hands of the league leaders.
The Potters have now established themselves as a genuine force in the top flight under the Welshman and I thoroughly expect them to finish about their more decorated opponents on Monday come the season’s end.
Picking up another three points on Boxing Day would keep Stoke in touch with Newcastle in seventh place and their overall record at The Britannia in 2011 is very respectable indeed.
Victory against Alex McLeish’s side would make it 11 wins in 18 Premier League matches in the calendar year and Stoke should be targeting just that against a limited Villa who are hopelessly out of form.
Having watched Villa perform so abjectly when beaten in front of their own fans by Liverpool last Sunday it was no surprise to see them lose to Arsenal last time out and they could easily get dragged into a relegation battle unless results improve.
Just four wins all season, against the current bottom three and newly promoted Norwich, are all they have to show for their efforts and Villa look lightweight to me. That’s not good news against a side as physical as Stoke and a home win should be shorter than the 2.00 available.
You can usually be rely on Stoke to give their true running in the top flight and Pullis is sure to have them wound up for the festive fixtures. I have the hosts closer to the 1.70 mark and anything but a home success would surprise.
2pts Back Stoke (vs. Aston Villa) @ 2.00 (Betfair)
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