Avoid defeat at Stoke and Chelsea are guaranteed to be top of the table at Christmas, but the Blues will find it tough going at the Britannia.
Mark Hughes’ men are priced as 21/4 long shots for success against the Premier League pace-setters, who assume 31/50 favouritism next to the 14/5-rated draw.
While the hosts’ odds to prevail are appealing, victory might be a little beyond them against such a formidable outfit, but they’re worth a punt at 27/20 to do the business in the double chance stakes.
Should the Potters win or draw, those to have invested their £30 free bet for opening an account at bwin.com in it can profit to the tune of £40.50.
Here’s why they’ll be celebrating:
The Potters boast an excellent record against last season’s big guns.
Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal have all lost to Stoke this season, while Liverpool and Manchester United, the only other two from last term’s top seven to beat them, can consider themselves fortunate to have done so.
The only sides to claim points at the Britannia in the league so far either finished in the bottom half last season or weren’t in the division.
Chelsea can’t keep clean sheets on the road.
Shut outs enforced on Schalke and Sunderland recently were the only two instances in the last nine in which the home side failed to breach the Blues’ backline.
They shipped three here last term in a 3-2 defeat and Stoke have rustled the net twice on average across their last five on the homestead.
Based on these figures, it’s tough to see the Staffordshire side not scoring at least once this time.
Stoke are unbeaten in six outings contested on a Monday.
Unlike Bob Geldoff, it would seem the Potters are fond of the first day of the week, winning four matches and drawing two played after the weekend has concluded.