Stoke City have been a fixture in the Premier League for some years now and are known as a very physical side who are always tough to beat. Although the Potters have competed in England’s top flight for much of their long history, they made it to the Premier League for the first time with promotion at the end of the 2007/08 campaign.
Like all EPL sides, Stoke receive plenty of attention from the live TV broadcasters and that’s when the best price boosts and enhanced offers come in. So, what can we expect from those promotions and what do we know about Stoke City football club?
Stoke are one of the oldest clubs in the history of the game having originally formed as Stoke Ramblers way back in 1863. They came about thanks to the efforts of former pupils of Charterhouse School who got the side together while working as apprentices at the local North Staffordshire Railway works.
Despite that early inception, we have no record of an official game until 1868 and after becoming Stoke Football Club in 1878, they finally turned professional in 1885. City then became one of the founding members of the football league when it was inaugurated in 1888.
The name Stoke City was settled upon when the club became official owners of their Victoria Ground stadium in 1919. They became known as the Potters in a nod to the local ceramics industry but spent most of their formative years in the lower reaches of the leagues.
The great Stanley Matthews joined at the start of the 1930s and things improved with City promoted to the old first division as Champions at the end of 1932/33. After the Second World War, Stoke had a tilt at the first division title in 1946/47 but after Matthews left the club, they went into decline and began to drop down through the divisions.
Revival came from the 1950s onwards with Tony Waddington taking over as manager and building a strong side that included the likes of John Ritchie and Jimmy Greenhoff plus Gordon Banks and George Eastham who had been part of England’s 1966 triumphant World Cup squad. City then won their first, and so far only major trophy with the 1972 League Cup and they were a strong force in the 1970s as a whole.
However, as the team broke up, Stoke went back to being a club that flitted between divisions until that promotion to the Premier League in 2008. The Potters were back in the top flight and current manager Mark Hughes has the task of keeping City at the top level for many years to come.
The early 1970’s saw Stoke field a side with a number of international quality players, at the heart of which was World Cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks. It was during this period that the Potters won their only major trophy to date, winning the 1972 League Cup with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the final.
Stoke, under legendary manager Tony Waddington, also reached two FA Cup semi finals at the start of that decade and fans consider the team to have been unlucky not to progress any further. The Potters also achieved high places in the old English First Division and through those they competed in the UEFA Cup on two occasions.
There have been highlights since and Stoke have been in the Premier League in an unbroken run dating back to 2008/09 during which time they reached the FA Cup final. However, for those fans with longer memories, the 1970s were the best time to be a Stoke City supporter.
Here is Stoke City’s record in domestic English competition across each of the last three seasons:
|Season||Premier league||FA Cup||League Cup|
|2016/17||13th||3rd Round||2nd Round|
|2015/16||9th||4th Round||Semi Finals|
|2014/15||9th||5th Round||4th Round|
Some of those stats may surprise casual football fans who feel that Stoke might often be relegation candidates at the start of the season. In fact, for two of the last Premier League campaigns, Mark Hughes’ side have been on the brink of qualifying for the Europa League.
The Cup record has been disappointing in contrast, with the exception of that solitary semi final appearance, but the priority is the league, where the club looks to stay in the top flight and hopefully get back into European competition.
Stoke can field one of the most experienced strikers in the Premier League through Peter Crouch. The former England international has also played for Spurs and Liverpool and he holds the record for most headed goals in Premier League history.
As he reaches the end of a long career, Crouch is used more as a substitute these days so we may not see any new customer enhanced odds offers on the player, but smaller price boosts for existing account holders may drop in from across the sportsbooks.
In goal, Jack Butland is developing to be the man most likely to challenge Joe Hart as England’s number one but a series of injuries threaten his chances of getting on the plane to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Butland is key to Stoke’s success in a team that is built around a solid defence but there is plenty of creativity in this team. Plenty of eyebrows were raised when Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri swapped Inter Milan for the Potteries in 2015 but the midfielder seems happy and comfortable in this City side.
Keeping hold of players of that calibre is pivotal if Stoke are to achieve their aim of consolidating their place in the Premier League and hopefully advancing up the table and into the Europa League places. The deeper they go into cup competitions, the more enhanced odds and price boost offers will land and we will bring you the best of those Stoke City price boosts as and when they come in.