Manchester City are running away with the English Premier League title, and it seems to be only a matter of time before they clinch. They need four wins from their last nine games, and they’ll get a chance to get one of those wins on Monday when they visit Stoke City, who are mired in the relegation zone.
What To Know About Manchester City
Manchester City are top of the table with 78 points after a 1-0 win at home over Chelsea in which they utterly dominated. Bernardo Silva scored in the 46th minute to give the leaders the three points and now, they can focus on the Champions League as they host Basel on Wednesday. However, they have a 4-0 lead in that tie, so that is effectively over now and Manchester City can start planning for the future. Pep Guardiola has to manage how to play his players as the league title is basically wrapped up and he can even sit the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero for the second leg of the Champions League; he could probably sit them for this match too, and Guardiola has to figure out how to protect his players from injury without them getting rusty. Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling both have hamstring problems and likely won’t play in midweek, and now they don’t have to be rushed for Monday’s game, either.
What To Know About Stoke City
Stoke City are on 27 points, which is 19th in the league after a 0-0 draw at Southampton, which was their fourth draw in five matches. It might not be pretty, but every point counts for Stoke City if they want to get out of the relegation zone. They’re not completely out of it as six points separate 12th (Bournemouth) from 19th, so they just have to keep plugging away. It has been a disaster of a season for Stoke City, whose 28 goals scored are 14th in the league and their 54 goals against are tied with West Ham for worst in the league. Subsequently, their -26 goal differential is dead last in the English Premier League. They’re going to have their hands full against the leaders.
Manchester City are favored on the road at -500, while Stoke City are rated at +1200 and a draw comes in at +550. Manchester City have won three and drawn one of their last four meetings with Stoke City, who did win 2-0 at home over Manchester City back in December 2015. In October, Manchester City trounced Stoke City 7-2 at home as Gabriel Jesus scored a pair, while David Silva, Sterling, Fernandinho, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva all netted as well. Stoke City scored via Mame Diouf and a Kyle Walker own-goal, but they had no answer for De Bruyne, who is the favorite for Player Of The Year in England and Manchester City has sorted out their defense at this point in the season. Even if Manchester City sits a lot of their first team, they still have enough to take another step towards the title with a win at Stoke City.
EPL Betting Pick: Manchester City
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