Southampton vs Stoke City
|Date & Time||Saturday April 18, 2015, 11:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Stoke City 5/2 Draw 9/4 Southampton 13/10
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Stoke City take on Southampton at the Britannia with both teams looking for points to challenge for European football for next season. Southampton will be looking to keep the pressure on Manchester City and Liverpool in the race for fourth and Stoke will be looking to close the gap on the Europa places. Southampton are in patchy form winning three of their last five and have lost two of their last three away from home. Ronald Koeman's side have had a terrific season though and will not fear a trip to Stoke even though it is one of the tougher away trips on the schedule. With Pelle, Mane and Tadic there is alot of quality upfront for Southampton although they have struggled somewhat to score in recent weeks. Southampton with a win here can move within two points of Manchester City and above Liverpool who are playing in the FA Cup this weekend.
Stoke City will look to take the game to Southampton and Mark Hughes side will play a similar tactic to what they deployed against Chelsea. Pressing high up the pitch when not in possession and funnelling back into a compact midfield and defence. With Walters/Crouch or Diouf as the focal point Stoke have different options with which to attack and Hughes will have a set plan for Southampton. This is a tough defence to break down though and Stoke may need to use a more orthodox 4-4-2 and wingers in order to penetrate Southamptons solid make up. Stoke have plenty of creative talent in midfield with Ireland and Adam but this will be a tough task for the Potters.
Going to take the draw at halftime, I think this one is going to be a war of attrition and I dont think we will see many goals. I would take the unders but I just dont like the price and the draw at halftime seems like more value at a better price.