Stoke travel to Switzerland for the next stage of the Europa League qualifying rounds to take on FC Thun, the early pace-setters in the Swiss league, on the artificial turf at Arena Thun.
The Potters (13/10) opened their league account with a 0-0 stalemate against Chelsea on Sunday but both Matthew Etherington and Rory Delap left the field with injuries and the pair are expected to miss out here.
Etherington’s creative value is widely appreciated and the absence of Delap’s missile throw-ins will deprive Stoke of another weapon which is normally so fruitful for them. Boss Tony Pulis could choose not to risk another attacking source as Jermaine Pennant is also struggling with a thigh strain. Considering these problems, the Potters may find goals hard to come by on the unfamiliar plastic surface and are 23/10 not to score – odds which certainly look attractive for anyone looking to use their free £25 bet upon joining bwin.com.
FC Thun (2/1) sit atop their domestic league and remain unbeaten after five games, conceding just three times in the process. They clearly have no aversion to playing on their own pitch as they haven’t been beaten in their last ten games in front of their home support.
Before thumping Lausanne-Sports on Sunday, the Swiss side had drawn four in a row and you can back them to share the spoils once again at 19/10.
Stoke have played three competitive games this year, two against Hajduk Split in the Europa League and their league fixture with Chelsea, and have kept a clean sheet in every contest. They are notoriously hard to break down and the additions of experienced campaigners Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson will only make them even more resolute.
Therefore, betting odds of 25/4 on the game ending 0-0 look particularly appetising. Any new customers joining bwin.com and looking to use their £25 free bet on this outcome would land £181.25 if their prediction proves correct.
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