Considering that just four sides have won half their games or more so far this season, and that two of them are Southampton and West Ham, it is fair to say it’s been a strange start to the Premier League campaign.
Almost every side has been lurching from fine wins to damning defeats week in week out, and the lack of consistency has made it impossible to get a read on most teams.
Stoke are typical of this, as while they have picked up three points at Man City this term, they’ve also lost at home to Leicester and Aston Villa.
Mark Hughes’ side were expected by many to record a top-half finish this season, but the better bet now might be to back the Potters for the drop at 11/1.
That’s a price that could well drop sharply due to the horrific fixture list they face over the next two months.
Over the next ten games, Stoke play seven matches against the seven sides that finished in the top septet of the table last season, finishing with Manchester United’s trip to the Britannia on New Year’s Day.
This gruesome gauntlet begins away at Spurs, where the Potters are 17/4 to win. Stoke get some respite at home to Burnley in the following game, before playing Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal in succession.
The festive season will bring no succour to suffering fans, with Chelsea and Everton Stoke’s opposition either side of Christmas Day.
Add in the fact that the Potters have been unconvincing for most of the season thus far, winning just one of their past four, and they could be plunged into a relegation dogfight by the end of New Year’s Day.
With this in mind, it might even be worth taking on the huge 40/1 price that Mark Hughes is the next manager to leave his post, as that price could drop rapidly in the coming weeks.