Solid Stoke to pile pressure on Canaries
No team has scored less goals than Norwich this season. They are 17th in the Premier League table with just one win from five games. Their manager Chris Hughton is the favourite in the ‘next Premier League manager to leave their post’ market at odds of 7/2.
Yes, the Canaries have been poor. New strikers Elmander, Hooper and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel still have it all to prove in the league. Nathan Redmond promises much but hasn’t delivered enough to be considered up to scratch yet.
Both sides go into this game on the back of midweek League Cup wins. Stoke had no trouble beating Tranmere Rovers, while Norwich recorded a 3-2 away victory at Watford. Looking at Premier League form, both teams lost their last match but Stoke’s defeat at the Emirates can be forgiven a lot easier than Norwich’s 0-1 loss to an Aston Villa side that was missing key man Benteke.
Indeed Stoke’s performances have been encouraging, even in defeat. I must admit I feared for them at the start of the season. I felt that by disposing of Pulis in an attempt to deploy a more attractive style of football that they would be sacrificing results and suffer. So far I’ve been wrong, and although it’s early days, the signs are very positive. Hughes hasn’t been naïve and Stoke’s defence remain one of their key strengths.
I consider the Potters to be a solid bet this weekend and I might even stretch above my normal tenner on this one.
Bet Selection: Stoke to win at Evens.
Saints and Palace set for goals
With Ian Holloway under increasing pressure following Crystal Palace’s terrible start to the season, I believe he’s unlikely to hold back when his side visit Southampton on Saturday. Let’s face, holding back just isn’t in his nature anyway.
Only Sunderland have conceded more goals than the Eagles this season and I’m expecting this to be an open game with goals. Southampton should be viewing this fixture as one that is very winnable, which it obviously is, but they have to make it happen. Mauricio Pochettino‘s men go into the game on the back of a 1-0 victory at Anfield last weekend and they will want to follow that up by asserting their authority on their own turf.
Granted these sides haven’t been scoring many goals, but things change and the nature of the game suggests it will to me.
Bet selection: Southampton v Crystal Palace (Over 2.5 goals at 10/11)