Stoke vs Bristol City predictions and betting tips for this 3pm Championship game on Saturday 14th September. Can Stoke finally start to climb the table?
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Despite plenty of pre-season optimism, it’s been a poor start to the campaign for Nathan Jones and Stoke City. The Welshman is under pressure, and although the fans have been relatively patient with the former Luton boss, he must start producing results on the pitch. He certainly talks a good game, but his side continue to make defensive howlers. Jack Butland was at fault twice against Preston whilst Danny Batth has also been responsible for his fair share of cock-ups this season. Despite taking the lead, the Potters somehow conspired to lose 2-1 at St.Andrews prior to the International Break, and it left them rock-bottom of the Championship. They appeared to have turned a corner during their 2-2 draw with Derby in mid-August, but they were unable to build upon it. They’ve scored six times, and conceded 15 times, which is astonishingly poor. They’ve shipped four more goals than any other side in the division. They’ve also faced the fewest shots in the Championship, yet have somehow still conceded the most goals. At the other end of the field, they’ve rattled the woodwork on several occasions, and missed some guilt-edged chances along the way!
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Bristol City made an inauspicious start to the season, losing 3-1 at home to Leeds, but Lee Johnson’s young side have bounced back, and they’re unbeaten since August 3rd. They’ve taken seven points from a possible nine on the road, and have already seen off Derby County and Hull. They recruited Stoke’s wantaway striker Benik Afobe, and he’s hit the ground running. However, he is ineligible to play in this game, and is yet another absentee for the Robins. Bristol City are without Bailey Wright, Tomas Kalas and Jay DaSilva whilst the impressive Adam Nagy is doubtful for Saturday’s game. Despite these problems, Bristol City have looked excellent so far, and they go into this game as the favourites. Johnson often deploys the 3-5-2 on the road, and they will be looking to play with plenty of width once again. They won 2-0 at the Bet365 Stadium on Jan 1st, and will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in Staffordshire.
Stoke clearly have a good enough squad to turn things around, and the International Break may have come at the right time for Nathan Jones. However, they just continue to concede stupid goals, and that is a worry for Potters fans. Bristol City have netted in every away game so far this campaign, and have scored eight times in their last three. Stoke’s defence will have to produce an imperious 90 minute display in order to keep them off the score-sheet, but that seems like a tall order. With Bristol City’s lack of defensive numbers, it may be best to back Over 1.5 Bristol Goals here at a very generous looking 9/4.
With Afobe ineligible for this game against his parent club, Andreas Weimann is almost certain to lead the line. The Austrian isn’t the most prolific striker in the divison, but he’s already scored twice this season, including at Pride Park. Whilst it may also be worth looking at the price on Niclas Eliasson in this market, Weimann could be the man to unlock the Stoke defence here. It might not take much.
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