Stalemate on the cards in the Potteries
Stoke and Leicester could play out third straight draw
Sky Sports Premier League, 12.30pm Saturday
The last two Stoke v Leicester clashes have ended 2-2 and the draw looks the smart bet once again.
Just one point separates the sides in the Premier League table. Both earned confidence-boosting wins last weekend but there doesn’t look to be a lot between them.
Stoke have conceded 20 goals this season – only Palace have conceded more – but that figure has been grossly inflated by the seven they shipped against Manchester City.
Mark Hughes has struggled to get his best rearguard on the pitch and yet again he’s having to come up with a contingency plan in case skipper Ryan Shawcross, who has started only five of Stoke’s ten games, cannot shake off a thigh problem.
Leicester’s games have also featured plenty of goals but might that change under the notionally conservative Claude Puel, a manager who took bucketloads of flak, most of it unfair, for the style of play he oversaw at Southampton last term.
In fairness to Puel they were set up positively against Everton last week with Riyad Mahrez proving far more influential from a central position ahead of a newly-unearthed midfield combination of Vicente Iborra and Wilfred Ndidi who looked seriously solid together.
Leicester are now unbeaten in five in all competitions, won their last road trip at Swansea and there’s a sense that they are on the up.
Another player who looked excellent in a different role last week was Ben Chilwell, so Foxes fans will want the wing-back to prove his fitness.
Stoke will take some breaking down, however. Arsenal and Manchester United have visited the Potteries this term and left with just a point between them. After the 1-0 win at Watford which eased some of the pressure on Hughes they are now looking to claim back-to-back league victories for the first time since January.
Read more Premier League previews
The clean sheet was timely though this is a fixture which tends to produce goals. The four clashes over the past two seasons have yielded 13 goals.
Stoke’s games are averaging 3.1 goals, a figure that is skewed somewhat by the nine in the one match against the league leaders. Leicester’s matches average 2.8 goals per game.
You can get 21-20 for over 2.5 goals which might also be worth considering.
1pt 40-17 188Bet
Geoff Cameron is out. Ryan Shawcross (thigh) is a doubt.
Robert Huth and Matty James are out. Ben Chilwell and Yohan Benalouane are doubts.
Stoke have managed only one clean sheet in their last nine matches.
Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport
Like us on Facebook RacingPostSport