Stoke has failed to post an English Premier League win over any team in the leading dozen so, with Leicester playing like a side that should be on the top half of the ladder, the Foxes represent this weekend’s best betting option.
It is remarkable that Stoke is ninth on the English Premier League ladder despite being 0-7-10 in its 17 games against the division’s highest ranked 12 teams. Based on English Premier League ladder positions, one would argue that Stoke’s finest 90 minutes was when the Potters defeated 13th-placed Burnley 2-0 at Bet365 Stadium in December. It speaks volumes for the mediocrity of the English Premier League that Stoke is above its fold in spite of coming up well short in its 17 matches versus Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton, West Bromwich, Southampton, Bournemouth and West Ham. And for just good measure, Stoke managed to register only a 2-2 English Premier League home draw versus Leicester when the Potters hosted the Foxes three months ago.
Admittedly, one’s English Premier League collateral form analysis favours Stoke over Leicester by an 11-0-8 margin but the direct head to head lands on the side of the Foxes and, from the outside looking in, it appears that interim manager Craig Shakespeare has waved a magic wand to get the champions playing well again. With every passing game it seems that Leicester’s players had downed tools for their former coach, Claudio Ranieri, and that does not reflect well upon them as human beings. But punters do not need to get sucked into debating the issue of whether Leicester’s players owe an apology to Ranieri. Punters simply need to scan the English Premier League coupon and identify value. At odds of +105 with Marathonbet to get the better of Stoke, one is convinced that Leicester are an overpriced outfit.
Last season, Leicester drew 2-2 at Stoke before posting a 3-0 home victory over the Potters later in the term. One thinks that lightning is likely to strike twice.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola appears to have given up on his team’s defence so there is a compelling argument for backing over two and a half goals at odds of -141 with Marathonbet when the Citizens visit Arsenal on Sunday.
Four of Manchester City’s seven English Premier League matches against fellow members of the top six have gone over two and a half goals and no-one knows how last weekend’s game between the Citizens and Liverpool ended under the line. Five of Arsenal’s seven English Premier League matches versus the same cohort have gone over two and a half goals and none of them has featured fewer than two goals. Only Swansea has rewarded over-two-and-a-half-goals punters more often than Arsenal and Manchester City is not far behind the Swans and the Gunners. December’s reverse English Premier League fixture resulted in a 2-1 Manchester City home success and each of the last three meetings between Arsenal and the Citizens have gone over two and a half goals.
Finally, Burnley is 14-0-0 in its English Premier League home games in receipt of a two-goal start, an option that is available at odds of -222 with Bwin for Saturday’s match between the Clarets and Harry Kane-less Tottenham.
That Burnley is likely to retain its English Premier League membership card owes everything to its Turf Moor results and it is impossible to get away from the fact that each of its three home losses have been by single-goal margins. Also, Tottenham has not won an English Premier League road game against a side ranked in the top eight, which is exactly what Burnley would be if one just counted home matches.
Leicester to beat Stoke
Saturday 1st April, 15:00 GMT
Arsenal v Man City – Over 2.5 goals
Sunday 2nd April, 16:00 GMT
Burnley (+2 handicap) to beat Spurs
Saturday 1st April, 15:00 GMT