Stoke: Premier League Preview

Stoke come into this campaign on the back of a disappointing season overall, finishing in 13th place.

They have dropped out of the top ten for the first time during Hughes’ tenure, given the quality of players in the squad, this was a poor finish.

They struggled for goals last season, with veteran Peter Crouch the top scorer with seven goals.

Ultimately the second poor start in as many seasons cost Stoke, they won none of their opening seven matches.

Given that all of their rivals have strengthened, it is vital Stoke do the same, they have also let go of some of the Pulis signings.

Their main aim will be to progress up the table and remain in contention for a trophy.

Premier League

Stoke’s opening fixture of this brand new Premier League campaign is against Everton on Saturday 12th August, at Goodison Park.

Their next four fixtures are:

 

Arsenal (H) 19th August

West Brom (A) 27th August

Man United (H) 9th September

Newcastle (A) 16th September

 

This is a tough set of opening fixtures for the Potters, with three of the top six last season in front of Mark Hughes’ men.

Those fixtures are sandwiched either side of winnable games against West Brom and Newcastle.

They are games that Stoke definitely have to win now, as they are unlikely to get much from the Arsenal, Everton and United games.

Stoke registered 11 wins during their last campaign ending the season with 44 points, 1 point behind West Brom in 10th.

This season was a slight disappointment on the 2015/16 campaign, where they won 16 matches and registered 51 points, and finished in 9th place.

That was an excellent season but it’s worth bearing in mind that Chelsea finished below them that season, many of the sides around them have invested heavily as well.

Cup Football

As well as consolidating their position in the Premier League, Stoke will be looking for a successful cup run.

They were dismal in both cups last season, losing to Hull in the early stages of the EFL Cup.

They also exited the FA Cup at the first time of asking, losing 2-0 at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

This is an area that the club will have identified to move forward, securing a trophy should be a major part of the Stokes plans this season.

Transfer Activity

Stoke’s main aim will be to add some quality to their ranks but they have already sold one of their best players to West Ham.

Their main area of weakness was the forward areas and lack of goals, and they have yet to really address that.

The main story of their summer has been the transfer cloud hanging over Marko Arnautovic, with the Austrian finally completing his move to West Ham.

His goal return last year was a paltry six goals, a poor return for a Premier League forward and symptomatic of Stoke’s troubles in front of goal.

 

Transfers In: Josh Tymon (Unassigned) and Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)

Transfers Out: Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United), Phil Bardsley (Burnley), Jon Walters (Burnley) and Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa).

One To Watch

Saido Berahino is the one to watch for Stoke this season.

The former West Brom man has had a nightmare 12 months, failing to hit the heights of previous seasons.

This is going to be a big season for him at Stoke, he has now had the benefit of a full pre season and will be key for the Potters.

It will be very intriguing to see how he goes in his first full season as a Stoke player, he will be wanting to rediscover his form of a few seasons ago.

Betting Tips

To win the 17/18 Premier League outright @ 750/1

A Top Ten Finish @ 7/4

To win the Carabao Cup 17/18 @ 33/1

To win the FA Cup 17/18 @ 40/1