Betting Spy: Stoke can stop Man City at 5/1

Grant Prior 12 years ago

The race for the Premiership title is hotting-up after Man City’s late show against Chelsea this week put them within a point of United.

The bookies are assuming that both sides of Manchester will sweep everyone else aside before the big showdown at the Etihad Stadium on April 30.

But I’m not so sure and there looks to be a bit of value supporting Stoke at 5/1 to beat Man City at the Britannia this weekend.

The Blues have been stuttering recently and a quick look at the form book reveals why.

At home they are pretty much untouchable. But away the picture is a bit different following recent defeats to Swansea, Sporting Lisbon and Everton.

They’ve only scored three times in five matches on their travels so everything points to Stoke being overpriced at 5s with Paddy Power.

Spurs and Liverpool have already come away beaten from the Britannia this season and the Potters look worth a chance to halt City’s title charge in its tracks.

Concentrating on football makes a welcome change at the moment after having to sit through some of the stuff Sam Allardyce is serving up at West Ham.

It’s more like rugby union these days at the Boleyn as long balls are bombed into the corners in the hope of territorial advantage or a knockdown from our bemused strikers.

I caught a rueful glimpse of the “Academy of Football” sign as I craned upwards on Tuesday night to track the latest “pass”.

That sign stands along with pictures of Bobby Moore and Trevor Brooking as a reminder of what football used to be about in east London.

Sure we never won much. But a few cups here and there were enough while we entertained people and West Ham were often people’s second team.

Not any more I fear. The prehistoric tactics of Big Sam were just about tolerated when we were winning. But a run of draws and abysmal performances has seen the crowd question the ethics of results above style.

You don’t have to be Barcelona to play good football – just look at how Swansea and Norwich have made the transition with a neat, passing game.

West Ham are stuck in some hellish long-ball throwback which plainly doesn’t work.

We have the best players in the league – all we need to do now is trust them to get out and play.

Unfortunately I can’t see Sam ripping-up his “tactics” book anytime soon so it’s on with the neck brace and binoculars to cheer our brave First XV as they lump their way back to the promised land of the Premier League.

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Running Total for all 2012 bets to a £10 stake:   +£150.00

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