Stoke City vs Arsenal 03/01/2014 Free Premier League Soccer Pick and Preview
Stoke City(6-9-12) Arsenal (18-5-4)
Saturday 1st March 2014 15:00(GMT)
The Line: Stoke City 5/1 Draw 19/5 Arsenal 3/4 See the Latest Odds
TV: NBC Sports Live; Direct Tv
Stoke City are one of those teams that not many like to play against, Physically imposing and with a strong work ethic the Britannia Stadium is a very tough place for opposition to come and get a result as proven by the fact that Stoke have only lost at home twice this year. Mark Hughes side has had a good month in February with a win (over Manchester United) two draws and a one goal loss at Manchester City (Stoke's best ever result in the Manchester City Premier League era). With a tough defence marshalled by Ryan Shawcross and Marc Wilson in front of on e of the best goalkeepers in teh league in Begovich its not difficult to see why Stoke have been difficult to beat. The midfield in front Adam, Whelan and Walters protect the back four well and work very hard and up front they have the quality of Crouch, Odwewingie and Arnautovich. This is a solid Stoke team and one that will give Arsenal a game tomorrow.
Arsenal have oodles of quality and one of the best away records in the league. Mezut Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud are all match winners but a tough physical encounter with Stoke will test the hunger and resolve in these Europeans who are oft called soft in the british press. Arsene WEnger will be looking to continue the healing from the defeat to Bayern Munich a game that Arsenal may well have won if not for the stupidity of their goalkeeper. Look for Wenger to try to get at stoke down the wings with Cazorla, Ozil and Oxlade Chamerlains being the key three.
As impressive as Arsenal's away record is (8-2-3) their halftime record away from home is (4-4-5) so its obvious they do their best work in the second half of away games. Stoke meanwhile have a 2-8-3 home record at half time and its that 8 I am really interested in, it means that statistically more than half of Stokes home games are a draw at half time so the juicy price of 5/4 we are getting on a draw at half time here looks like some real value. Take the draw at halftime and follow me on twitter@antonpippo