Premier League betting – Stoke vs Wigan
Stoke City vs Wigan Athletic betting odds, tips & free bets
Stoke City: League Position: 9th, League Form: DWDWL
Stoke City’s season has been over since Yaya Toure smashed a left footed drive into the back of their Wembley net as Manchester City took the honours in the FA Cup Final last weekend. The midweek clash between the same two sides was a walk in the park for Tevez and his Manchester City teammates, and Tony Pulis’ men have little to play for coming into this last tie.
However, they are not a team to be taken lightly in front of their own fans and, without doubt, Pulis will not let his troops end the season on such a low. Their home form, WDWDWW from their last six home games, suggests they are finishing the season strongly at The Britannia Stadium. Kenwyne Jones has found his feet lately too, with five goals in the past eight games, joint top scorer at the club with 12 goals.
In fact, other than the pride of their own fans, the only thing they are fighting for is a first top ten finish in the top division since 1975.
Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant are both fighting injuries to be fit for this last game, although it would be easily understood if neither was risked for a game holding no importance to the side, whilst Robert Huth is not expected to recover from a knee ligament strain.
Wigan Athletic: League Position: 19th, League Form: WLDDW
The fight for survival reaches the final hurdle this Sunday for Wigan, and having been out of the bottom three for only three weeks in 2011, they can only be happy to be going into the final day five-way battle with a chance of survival. Their comeback last week at home to West Ham turned them from relegation fodder to serious players in the last day drama, and can look at the other teams involved, see their fixtures and think themselves safe with a win.
For a team so inconsistent they have lost only two of their last eight, but they have struggled all season for goals (only Birmingham have scored less) and have kept only one clean sheet since the turn of the year. Much depends on star turn Charles N’Zogbia, who has five goals in his past five games, and dictates everything good coming from Roberto Martinez’s side.
Wigan have a clean bill of health going into the game, and now they must do the job themselves if they want to stay in the Premier League.
Match Prediction: Draw – 3.6 Bet365
The final day drama is near impossible to predict, what with the inconsistent performances, the desire of the teams the relegation candidates are matched with and the pressure on each and every player, but a point away at the fortress that is the Britannia Stadium may end up a great result for Wigan, enough to hoist them above Blackpool and Birmingham considering their tough away fixtures.
Stoke will fight, and are not a team to be taken lightly however little importance this tie may really hold for them. Wigan fans should worry if they go a goal behind, they are not hosting the shambles of West Ham this week, and Stoke have not lost a league match in which they opened the scoring this season. They will also not want a memorable season to fade so tamely, and it may be that their awful defeat to Manchester City was embarrassment enough to motivate them ahead of this game.
And for all the glory of such a comeback last week, Wigan looked the team most likely to lose as the game opened up like a basketball match. West Ham had glorious chances only seconds before N’Zogbia scored the decider. They are defensively weak, and Stoke will bombard their opponents, looking for each and every weakness.
The in form Kenwyne Jones and Charles N’Zogbia seem the most likely to score and both could be worthy of a bet depending how you think the game may go.
Over/Under: Over 2.5 Goals – 1.91 Stan James
First Goalscorer: Kenwyne Jones – 7.5 Victor Chandler
Correct Score: 2-2 Draw – 15.00 William Hill
Both Teams to Score: Yes – 1.73 ToteSport
Blackpool and Birmingham to be Relegated: 2.88 Bet 365
By Chris Wilkerson
Click here to view all free bets from online bookmakers