Saturday afternoon's Premier League match between Stoke and QPR is shaping up to be an important one for the season ahead. Neither team has got going so far and QPR manager Mark Hughes is under huge pressure heading into the match at the Britannia Stadium as his side start the weekend in 19th place and with just four points to their name.
QPR are yet to win a league game this season and Stoke have fared little better as they have won just the one match and find themselves down in 15th on nine points. Tony Pulis's men do start 5/6 favourites in the match betting this week with Bet 365, who go 7/2 for the QPR win and a tempting 5/2 for the draw.
The draw could be worth a look this weekend and in fairness to Stoke their current league position doesn't take into account the fact they have played Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool already this term and they will be looking to move onwards and upwards from here.
Scoring goals has been the biggest issue as they have managed just eight in 10 league games, with 10 of their last 12 at home ending with under 2.5 goals. QPR have also managed just the eight goals, with their last three going under 2.5, and it is no surprise that under 2.5 goals is 7/10 on this weekend, although for a touch more value the draw and under 2.5 goals combined looks a decent punt at 3/1 with B365.
Peter Crouch is the main threat for Stoke as he has scored four league goals this season and he is 9/2 to be first goalscorer against a QPR defence that has tightened up in recent weeks. After a dismal start to the season, Mark Hughes has at least seen his side improve defensively and they have been a little unfortunate to not take more from their last three matches.
Djibril Cisse was on target last time out as he scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Reading and he will have happy memories from playing Stoke after scoring an 89th minute winner against them in May. Cisse looks a tempting 11/2 bet to score QPR's first goal of Saturday's match as he bids to help them away from the relegation zone.
Defeat would heap the pressure on Hughes and he must hope his side keep their discipline this weekend as there have been three red cards in their last five outings. There have also been three players sent off in the last five meetings between Stoke and QPR and a red card in Saturday's match could be worth a look when the bookies price that particular market up.
Meanwhile, QPR are bidding to end a run of 18 matches without a win away from home, during which they have lost 15, but we fancy they can nick a point at the Britannia, where Stoke have drawn seven during an 11-match unbeaten run.
Stoke v QPR Form
Check the season's statistics for both Stoke and QPR, plus the odds ahead of Saturday's match.
Stoke v QPR Tips
Tip #1: Draw and under 2.5 goals @ 3/1 with Bet365.
Tip #2: Djibril Cisse to score QPR's first goal @ 11/2 with Bet365.
Tip #3: Sending off in the match @ TBC with Bet365.
Correct Score Odds
11/2 Stoke 1-0
7/1 Stoke 2-0
15/2 Stoke 2-1
8/1 Draw 0-0
11/2 Draw 1-1
16/1 Draw 2-2
10/1 QPR 1-0
20/1 QPR 2-0
14/1 QPR 2-1
First Goalscorer Odds
9/2 Peter Crouch
5/1 Jon Walters
11/2 Michael Owen
11/2 Kenwyne Jones
11/2 Cameron Jerome
8/1 No Goalscorer
8/1 Michael Kightly
9/1 Bobby Zamora
9/1 Djibril Cisse
9/1 Matthew Etherington
11/1 David Hoilett
12/1 Adel Taarabt
Odds supplied by Bet365.com, who offer live betting in-running for all Premier League games.
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