Stoke City v Aston Villa Preview: Benteke to test Potters

Stoke City v Aston Villa Premier League match and betting odds preview.

stoke-cityStoke City v Aston Villaaston-villa

Britannia Stadium, Saturday 6th April; kick-off 15:00. Ref: Mark Clattenburg

Matthew Etherington is doubtful for Stoke and will undergo a fitness test.  For Villa, Ciaran Clark is still a doubt after injuring his shoulder on international duty for the ROI while Brett Holman should play.

Stoke aren’t exactly on fire at the moment, 34 points from 31 matches being their worst in five seasons in the EPL.   The Potters have just one win from their last 6 league matches played at the Britannia Stadium, very unlike the Stoke of seasons gone by.  They need to get more shots on target, as they’ve the lowest statistic in the league (together with Reading, 94 shots on target).

On Saturday, they come up against an Aston Villa team who are in even worse form, with the silver lining being the goal-scoring form of Christian Benteke (9 in 11 Premier League games).  Villa have sunk steadily lower in the table as the season has worn on and haven’t kept a clean sheet for 15 Premier League games.  Conversely, if Premier League matches ended at half-time, Aston Villa would be sixth in the table – above Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal.  Unfortunately, they don’t and Villa aren’t – so if they go ahead in the first half on you may know what to expect.

Difficult to predict, this one.  A low scoring draw could be on the cards.

Prediction: Stoke City 1 Aston Villa 1
Betting odds on full time result: Stoke City win 2.10, Draw 3.30 Aston Villa win 3.60
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Probable line-ups:
Stoke City (4-4-2): Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson; Shotton, N’Zonzi, Whelan, Walters; Jerome, Crouch.
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett; Sylla, Westwood, Bannan; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor.