Stoke City hosts Watford in round 26 of the English Championship. The match will be played on Friday, January 22nd at Bet365 Stadium (Stoke on Trent)
Stoke City looked very weak last season. There was a real risk of relegating to a lower division, but Michael O'Neill's appointment saved the Potters. The specialist did not work such miracles as he once did with the Northern Ireland national team. But at the same time, he was able to raise his new charges to the final 15th place in the standings of the last season. And Stoke started the current season well, including in the League Cup. But after minimal 1-0 victories over Wycombe and Middlesbrough, the team began to stall noticeably. The Potters were eliminated from both cups and lost a place in the top six of the Championship standings. On Tuesday, they didn't manage to beat Rotherham. Stoke City won back twice, but the match ended in a 3-3 draw. And the streak without victories, taking into account the cups, has already reached seven matches in a row.
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Watford left the Premier League in the previous season. Of course, the task for this season is one - to return to the usual level from the outset. At the same time, the Pozzo family continues to change coaches frequently - since the end of December, the coaching post has been entrusted to Xisco. Spanish ex-mentor of Dinamo Tbilisi has not yet stabilized his players' game. He debuted with a 1-0 win over the Championship leader, Norwich. But then the Hornets lost to their direct rival Swansea, although they opened the scoring. However, Watford leaves a good general impression. It minimally lost to Manchester United in the Cup (McTominay's goal in the 5th minute remained the only one) and then confidently beat Huddersfield, gaining a foothold in the playoff zone.
Stoke City had a 5-match unbeaten streak in head-to-head matches before its relegation from the Premier League. Moreover, the Potters won four times in a row. But in this tournament, Sarr's goal brought the Hornets a 3-2 victory in November. Stoke is unlikely to win against one of the leaders - at most, it can claim a draw. We would venture to recommend a bet on Watford with a zero handicap.
Prediction for the match: Watford to win with 0.0 handicap