MONDAY night football returns and Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) takes a look at the match from the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea v Stoke | Monday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
Swansea v Stoke on Monday night football? Christ, bring back international football! It’s hardly the kind of tie that you’re going to look forward to as you whittle the hours away in the office this Monday. Well that’s my view anyway.
There’s always a betting angle to find though and that’s what I’ll try and do here. For starters I think Swansea are too short at Evens. Since that wonderful win over Manchester United on the penultimate day of August the Swans have failed to win. Two points out of a possible 12 are what they’ve accrued but draws against Everton and Tottenham certainly deserve respect.
Defeats to Watford and Southampton have blunted their hopes of replicating last season’s eight place finish and it makes me uneasy when seeing odds on quotes on them from the majority of bookmakers.
As for Stoke, they seem to have finally clicked into gear after a poor start to the campaign. The Potters were dealt a tough fixture list at the start of the campaign with three of last season’s Top 5 taking them on but no win in their opening six was poor.
As well as defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool, Mark Hughes’ side lost to West Brom and failed to take three points from Norwich and Leicester. Improvement was needed.
Improvement has come though. Consecutive wins over Bournemouth and Aston Villa have saw Stoke climb the table and regain the winning thread.
Just one point separates these sides in the table and indeed just two split them last season so they are clearly closely matched and to be able to back Stoke at almost evens to avoid defeat is too tempting for me.
Mark Hughes’ side pulled off away wins at the Etihad and White Hart Lane last season and can definitely compete here. 7/2 on them looks generous but 39/40 with a half goal start looks a great bet.
Sexy match? Not a bit of it. But there’s lots to like about the price of Stoke with a +0.5 goals start on Monday night. That’s what I’ll be getting involved with.
Swansea v Stoke – Stoke +0.5 (39/40 Bet365)
The BTTS bet has paid out in four of the last five matches between these sides.