Stoke City were able to snatch a 1-1 draw against West Ham last weekend to break a streak of three Premier League losses. They enter this game at 10th in the table and are at risk of dropping into the bottom half if results do not go their way.
Mark Hughes’ team is exhibiting the traits commonly associated with his sides. They are defending solidly while trying to retain possession, but one drawback is their lack of goals. Only Swansea have scored fewer goals in the top half of the table (38 > 36).
Southampton have not been prolific in front of goal, either, but the Saints have still manage to score 44 times in the league. From a defensive standpoint, Southampton have also been superior compared to Stoke. Ronald Koeman’s team have the best defensive record in the league, conceding only 22 goals.
Goals will be at a premium in this game. Stoke are going to find it incredible difficult breaking down Southampton’s three-man midfield and solid defence. Meanwhile, Stoke have the potential to also play well in defence.
This is exactly the type of game that could be decided by a single goal, or else a 0-0 draw. Southampton have the better attacking players, but it was only in his last game that Graziano Pellè was able to break his goal drought. Dušan Tadić has also been quiet over the past few weeks.
Stoke simply do not compare for attacking talent. In fact, there is an argument to be made that Southampton have not been doing enough with their quality. The defence is understandably solid, but this could result in another frustrating attacking display. Southampton need to win to stay ahead of Liverpool and Tottenham.
Tip one: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.57 with bet365
Tip two: No for Both Teams to Score @ 1.72 with bet365
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Combing the above tips will only see the odds increased to 1.95 with bet365. Because goal scoring will be so difficult, it means that this result could easily go in one of three directions. That makes it quite risky to back a winner.