Stoke have started the campaign like a constipated greyhound and the history books suggested they have very little chance of righting things against Manchester City.
Not only have the Citizens won their last six top-flight home games against the Potteries club, but they have done so while keeping a clean sheet.
In total, the aggregate score of the eight Manchester-based clashes between the pair since Tony Pulis’ disciples returned to the Premier League stands at 15-1.
City are 1/5 favourites to continue their 100 per cent start to the campaign, with a draw 21/4 and a visiting victory 12/1.
However, given Stoke’s historical inability to locate the Etihad onion bag, beefing up the Sky Blues’ win odds to 9/10 by tacking a ‘to nil’ on the end makes plenty of sense.
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Mark Hughes’ men have gleaned a single point – and a solitary goal – from their two league games so far this season, despite playing against 10 men for 76 minutes against Hull last time out.
Meanwhile, the Welshman’s former employers conceded just 13 times when home on the range last term, a paltry total that equates to 0.68 per game.
Five of those concessions came in three games against fellow Champions League qualifiers, indicating the kind of quality needed to prise open the Etihad back door.
Regardless of their strength at the Britannia Stadium, it would take a Bob Beamon-esque leap of faith to expect similar ingenuity of the visiting City.
Stoke managed just 18 goals on their way to being the 16th-ranked top-flight travellers in 2013/14 , bagging just once in their visits to top-four foes.