We mentioned earlier that Stoke is only interested in a win as they relegated to the relegation zone following Bournemouth’s away defeat last week. The 17th Swansea has as many points on the account as, for example, the 12th West Ham currently has only three points ahead of Stoke, as well as on the penultimate Huddersfield. Thus, until the end of the season obviously a very uncertain fight for the league ahead.
That’s why coach Lambert’s protégés are now very keen to win a win against one of their direct competitors, just as they did three laps ago when they scored a 2-0 home win against Huddersfield. They then drove home a scoreless home run with Watford and were beaten 1-2 by Bournemouth last weekend after being led by Shaqiri on 5 minutes. Due to injury, midfielder Fletcher and striker Jese should also be out of action this time.
They were in a similar situation to Stoke before the final round and the duel with West Ham, but they ended up winning a very valuable 3-1 home win despite being under pressure. Thus, they have again three points ahead of teams from the relegation zone, so that they can play now a little more relaxed against the direct competitors in the relegation battle.
Coach Hughton’s charges are playing better games at home than away, where, traditionally, they are acting quite aggressively to score at least one point. They made a one-for-one away draw against the “saints” two rounds ago, before beating Middlesbrough 1-0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Due to injuries, the appearances of midfielder Sidwell and strikers Locadia and Skalak are still questionable.
Stoke – Brighton TIP
Although the guests from Brighton expect this direct duel in the fight for relegation in a slightly better form of play, we nonetheless tap on the victory of Stoke. Today’s hosts are currently three points behind their opponents.
Tip: Win Stoke