Stoke return to the Bet365 stadium this Sunday having played out a stalemate at The Den last Saturday. The result however was probably an unfair reflection on Michael O Neil’s men’s performance in which they were denied what looked like a clear penalty.
Dean Holden is the man in the hot seat at Ashton Gate now having been promoted internally from underneath perennial underachiever Lee Johnson. They scraped past a lively Coventry side with their goals coming in the 1st and 82nd minute in what looked harsh outcome on the newly promoted visitors.
A journalist in the press box proclaimed that “Holden may be a lucky coach after this result given Coventry’s contribution to the game.” A statement which is certainly worth thinking about considering the amount of chances Matty Godden spurned, and a team possessing strikers such as Steven Fletcher, Sam Vokes and Benik Afobe just to name 3 are much more likely to punish such poor defending.
Michael O Neil had the following to say from the opening day draw at Millwall – “We were the better team and had more opportunities. We had a lot of corners, particularly in the first half – we just did not maximise some of the opportunities we had.
At the end we get a really bizarre decision that goes against us that could’ve been the difference.”
With the squad at his disposal and being able to claim a striker such as Lee Gregory is surplus to requirements is a big statement for a club tipped for promotion, following on from an incredibly disappointing campaign last season. Stoke finished the season in good form winning 3 of their last 4 and a draw away at today’s visitors.
With a midfield full of talent and experience such as Sam Clucas and Jon Obi Mikel, also with Nick Powell floating across the middle of the park I fully expect Stoke to have too much for this Bristol side, who will probably find themselves missing out on the play offs once more.
Stoke to win – Evens (Bet365, Unibet, 888 Sport) 1 point win