Stoke v Cardiff: Home win on the cards for Mark Hughes’ men
As hard as it might be to believe, there are people in this world that don’t value Stoke’s participation in the Premier League.
Perceived as a set of whopping great defenders, who whack the ball forward to equally sizeable forwards with brutal, tough-tackling midfielders snapping at opponents’ ankles to get the ball back, Stoke are a side that do what’s necessary to survive.
To that end, their mentality should be roundly applauded, not dismissed out of hand as a disease on the world’s premier footballing division. The Potters people are not stupid either, they know that, in line with that well-worn footballing cliche, they must pick up the majority of the points they need to survive at home, and that is exactly what they do.
Since bulldozing their way into the big-time, Stoke have never lost more than six home games during a campaign. That record number of defeats came some five seasons ago and the majority of their losses usually come at the hands of the sides who finish in the European places. In fact, they’ve lost just five home games in total to teams from the bottom half of the table in their five completed Premier League campaigns.
Neither side is in any form to shout about – they’ve won a combined two matches over their last 17 outings – and as a consequence neither has a goal scoring record you’d want to throw money at. Stoke have managed five at home so far, while Malky Mackay’s side have notched four away.
But, what is apparent is Stoke’s steely nerve in front of their own crowd which, when coupled with their six-game strong unbeaten record against the Bluebirds, makes a home win all the more likely.
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