Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion Betting Tips & Predictions – Saturday 9th February 2019

If Nathan Jones thought turning Stoke around was going to be an easy job, he will certainly have changed his mind by now. There has been no honeymoon period for the ex-Luton manager who has tasted the sourness of defeat in four of his opening five games in charge.

The Potters are in need of something to lift the fans but so are West Brom after losing last weekend’s crunch clash with Middlesbrough. A win for the Baggies would have put them just four points from top but they found themselves unable to hold onto their lead against one of their closest promotion rivals.

Top Tips

West Bromwich Albion to Win @ 9/5

Under 2.5 Goals @ 4/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Stoke City News: Vokes endures nightmare debut

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Sam Vokes did not have to wait long for a taste of action at his new club. Just two days after signing for Stoke from Burnley, the Welshman was named among the starting XI for the game with Hull. The Potters have been crying out for more firepower this season and their new recruit had the perfect chance to register a debut goal when brought down inside the box. The striker picked himself up to take the resulting penalty but could only watch in anguish as his attempted equaliser was kept out by David Marshall.

West Bromwich Albion News: Mears and Hoolahan retained for season run-in

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West Brom picked up veterans West Hoolahan and Tyrone Mears on free transfers in the summer. The pair were initially signed on short-term deals lasting until January but Darren Moore has extended their stay despite their lack of playing time. Mears has only started four league matches while Norwich legend Hoolahan has just 94 Championship minutes to his name. Explaining his decision to keep the pair until the end of the season, Moore said they have been great influences on the training ground and in the dressing room.

Phillips steps up recovery

Baggies boss Moore has been delighted to see that Matty Phillips is well on the road to making a full recovery. When injuring his ankle last month, the problem was described as a bad one but the Scot does not look like spending much more time on the side-lines. He returned to training on grass this week where he is doing football-based practice alongside fellow recovering teammate James Morrison. This clash will likely come too soon for the midfielder but you can expect him back in action next week.

Analysis: Stoke in need of clear-out

It is easy to forget that the Potters began the season as the favourites to secure Premier League promotion. Now the growing feeling is, after so many underwhelming months, that Stoke are in need of a total rebuild. Until Jones is able to do this, Stoke may find that their struggles continue as their current squad appears too flawed for any manager to properly fix.

Baggies can bounce back for Boro defeat

West Brom have faced 14 away matches in the Championship this season, the first eight returned nine points but the last six have returned 15. Moore has made his men far more resilient on their travels, something that could prove vital come the end of the season. Stoke have been defeated in three of their last four home contests, including against League One outfit Shrewsbury in the FA Cup. They are capable of better as they showed in last month’s win over Leeds but they cannot be depended upon to produce. It’s a real surprise to see them priced as the favourites for this test but it only makes a Baggies win (9/5) all the more appealing.

Visitors happy to win ugly

West Brom’s 2-3 defeat to Middlesbrough last weekend saw a more open affair than the Baggies have been accustomed to in recent week. The five goals scored that game was as many as Darren Moore’s side had seen in their previous four matches combined. Less attack-minded that they have been in the past, the visitors will not adopt any sort of gung-ho approach here. This makes under 2.5 goals (4/5) an appealing option with the bet365 stadium a rather goal shy place. League matches at Stoke’s home have averaged just 2.2 goals this season, the fourth lowest average in the Championship.

Recent Matches

Goals have not been in abundant supply in this fixture for quite some time. Only one of the last 19 clashes between West Brom and Stoke have seen the net ripple on more than three occasions.

1st September 2018: West Bromwich Albion 2 – 1 Stoke City

Choosing his words careful, Stoke boss Gary Rowett said his said were, “a little bit dopey” after failing to perform in this match. He lamented his side’s mistakes in both boxes and highlighted Benik Afobe’s missed penalty, twenty minutes from time, as a major turning point. The Potters did eventually get a goal but there was no time for anything else with Eric Pieters only able to convert in the final minute of added time.

23rd December 2017: Stoke City 3 – 1 West Bromwich Albion

A vital three points came Stoke’s way in this match but they were really made to work hard for it. After Salamon Rondon halved the deficit in the 51st minute, the Baggies heaped on the pressure on a less than convincing home defence. Despite registering 17 shots on goal, the visitors could not find the all-important equaliser. Tom Edwards almost gifted them an injury-time own goal but Jack Butland kept out his accidental effort and began a swift Stoke break that Ramadan Sobhi finished off.

27th August 2017: West Bromwich Albion 1 – 1 Stoke City

West Brom only had themselves to blame as their perfect start to the Premier League season was tarnished. The home side were on course for all three points until a horrible mix-up between Ahmed Hegazi and Ben Foster allowed Peter Crouch to head into an empty net. While a fortuitous equaliser, it was hard to say it wasn’t deserved as the Potters matched their opponents for almost the entire match.

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