Nowhere but bwin.com can top Midlands club punters get 5/4 about favourites Stoke emerging victorious.
With projected strugglers Aston Villa, West Brom and Leicester the trio to beat, it’s incredibly difficult to envisage the Potters not reigning supreme in this bracket and with the best offerings elsewhere standing at 11/10, today must be the day to open an account with the boys in black and gold.
New bwin.com customers will be rewarded with a £30 free bet that, if invested in Mark Hughes’ men conquering this quartet, yields a £37.50 profit when, not if, they’re successful.
Last season, the Staffordshire side recorded their first-ever Premier League top-half finish, ensuring a place above each of the three teams they’re in competition with here.
The arrivals of Bojan Krkic, Steve Sidwell and Mame Biram Diouf, as well as natural right-back Phil Bardsley will ensure they’re better equipped in 2014/15 as they go about finishing above Aston Villa – the second-strongest faction of this foursome – for a fourth successive season.
Villa are 11/4 to achieve the feat, but their summer transfer activity hardly smacks of shrewdness.
Paul Lambert has drafted in Joe Cole, Philip Senderos and Aly Cissokho among others; the transfer equivalent of running on the treadmill to build up muscle mass.
This triumvirate will do little to elevate their league standing, merely providing them with more bodies to cover injuries.
If the Villans’ stature has stagnated while Stoke’s has swollen, it’s difficult to argue just how the claret and blue clad club are going to end the campaign in a higher position.
There are no worthy challengers to be unearthed digging deeper into the market either.
West Brom and all their Alan Irvine-inspired pessimism will be much more concerned with finishing above three teams at all, irrespective of the region that they hail from.
Their 4/1 odds will be swerved en masse.
More will entertain the 17/4 about Leicester ruling the Midlands, but the fact that both the previous Championship champions were relegated from the top-tier the following campaign will act as a deterrent.