Stoke City vs Derby County predictions and betting tips for this Championship game on Saturday 17th August. Can Nathan Jones’ side pick up their first league win of the campaign?
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It’s been a tough start to life at the Bet365 for Nathan Jones. The intense Welshman has won just three times since leaving Luton, but there signs that things are very slowly heading in the right direction. After slipping up against QPR in the opener, the Potters were much improved against Charlton, and should have taken at least a point. They rattled the woodwork, and missed a number of decent efforts before conceding two late goals. In midweek, NJ deployed a 5-3-2 formation with Tom Edwards and James McLean taking up wing-back roles, and it worked well. Young prospect Nathan Collins captained the side and scored the winning goal, and he’s put himself firmly into the frame for selection here. Jones has a number of decisions to make, and the return of Peter Etebo is a real boost. The Nigerian is excellent, and has been coveted by PL clubs, but he remains a Stoke player, and could be one of the Championship stand-out stars. The fans will be hoping to pick up their first three points of the season against one of their near-neighbours.
Read More: See all of this weekend’s Championship betting tips and predictions
Derby were very unlucky last weekend, with the Rams failing to find the net against Swansea. Phillip Cocu’s side created multiple chances, registering an XG of 2.3, and missing a penalty. They will be looking to make amends for that profligate display here. The Rams were victorious in the EFL Cup, beating Scunthorpe by a single goal, with a much-changed XI. Tom Huddlestone has stood out in the opening couple of games, and could be become an important cog in the machine this season. His lack of mobility has always been an issue, but he seems to be flourishing in Cocu’s set-up. The visitors are unlikely to be able to call upon the services of Jayden Bogle, who is carrying an injury whilst Jack Marriott is hoping to shake off a knock in time for this one. Games between these two sides are always fiery affairs, and both sides will be determined to bounce back from last weekend’s underwhelming outcomes.
Stoke were tipped for big things this season, but it hasn’t gone according to plan so far. Despite the negativity of the fans, there do appear to be green shoots, and Nathan Jones’ side looked much better last weekend. They will also take confidence from their cup win. Derby weren’t as free-flowing against Huddersfield in their opening away game of the season, and relied on some individual brilliance, but they will be a threat here. It’s hard to separate these two teams, so backing the draw seems like the sensible option at 11/5.
The Potters kept a number of clean sheets at the end of last season, and were incredibly hard to beat (and boring to watch). However, that seems to have changed, and they’ve now become a bit sloppy at the back. Derby kept a clean sheet last weekend, but Swansea didn’t offer too much outside of the occasional counter-attack. Games between these sides at this stadium are rarely dull affairs, and Both Teams to Score? Yes looks a decent bet at 4/5.
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