PREMIER LEAGUEHULL CITY - STOKE CITY
These are two clubs which have gone very different ways in 2009, during the calender year, Hull have collected a meagre 16 points and Stoke, who now look a secure EPL side over two and a half times more, with 41 , that is almost a point a game more.
The mood at the two clubs is, as you might expect completely different too, the visitors are cock a hoop after winning at Spurs and fancy their chances against almost any non top 4 (5) side and even facing one of those at the Brittania. Hull take the field expecting to lose, boss Phil Brown is on his way out of the club, everyone knows that, but the board seem unable to take the decision and allow him more time to work on the tan. The team are under enormous pressure, they have not scored in 292 minutes of football and Geovanni, who has scored four of their last six goals is suspended today.
Stoke have spent wisely and have a strong, closely knit squad, such is their strength in depth now, that big money summer signing Huth, who returns from suspension today, might have to wait his turn on the bench. These are options that Brown simply doesn't have. The visitors have collected just four point less than Aston Villa in 2009, the Villans are considered a top six or seven side and people would be falling over themselves to back them here at circa 2.60 and I feel Stoke are a good value price.
6 points Stoke -1/4 ball 2.23 asian line.
WEST HAM UNITED- EVERTON
Both teams are struggling and have striker problems today, which is why the "over" odds have drifted, however, I view things a little differently and still expect to see goals today. It is defensively that these two have really lost their way, the visitors are without a clean sheet in eight starts and looked lost at times in the home defeat to Benfica on Thursday. West Ham were given the run around by Aston Villa in midweek, but managed to claim three much needed points, but they have conceded two or more goals in seven of their last eight starts. H2h wise this is a fixture which normally produces action aplenty and Everton have scored two or more on four of their last five visits to East London. I am sure that both managers will be greedily eyeing up the three points and will surely go for it, David Moyes might well have Saha, Heitinga and Neill back in the team today and if so, they would be my idea of the more likely winners, but the "over" looks a much stronger bet, especially given the odds.
6 points "over" 2.5 goals 2.12 asian line.