Stoke City take on Newcastle United on Wednesday having put together back to back wins in the league for the first time since December. Mark Hughes team have been tough to handicap in recent months as they put in terrific performances like their home wins against Manchester City and United and then lost to West Brom. Hughes has completely revamped his side this season and with the additions of Affelay, Shaqiri, Imbula the Potters now have qualty attackers throughout the squad. Bojan, Diouf and Walters can all play through the center or on the wings and Stoke have a number of different options going forward. An impressive away win at Bournemouth was followed by a standard win against bottome feeder Aston Villa with Arnautovic scoring both goals. Stoke City are one of those home teams that are always worth taking a punt on and we seem to be getting some value here.
Newcastle did not play at the weekend but all the teams around them lost so their precarious position in the relegation zone got a little bit brighter. If Newcastle could pick up three points here and a point in their game in hand they could move four points clear of the drop zone and Steve McLaren may get a second season in charge at St James Park. Newcastle do have a quality squad and I keep expecting them to kick on and move away from the drop zone but the longer they stay here the more chance that they get relegated. With Ayoze, Cissokho, Mitrovic and Cisse there is attacking talent in Newcastle's squad but their best attacker has been the midfielder signed in the summer Wijnaldum. The dutch winger has been sensational and I think he will be the key if this team is to avoid relegation.
I'm pretty sure the oddsmakers have this one wrong, I'm taking Stoke to win this and at evens it looks far too big. I was expecting this to be somewhere around 4/5 or even lower so getting lots of value on the Potters here in a game they should win.