Can Mark Hughes' Stoke side improve on their ninth place finish last season?
Stoke City have managed three consecutive ninth place finishes in the Premier League under Mark Hughes. He’s had a complete overhaul of the squad since arriving three years ago and has some real quality at his disposal.
It’s been a quiet summer so far for Stoke but Hughes has brought in Joe Allen for a fee rumoured to be in the region of £13 million. The Wales international had an outstanding summer at Euro 2016 and Hughes will be hoping the addition of Allen will give something new to his midfield.
Last season’s top scorer, Marko Arnautovic had been consistently linked with a move away from the Bet365 Stadium but he has recently signed a new four-year contract with the club. This will be great news for the fans as he has been instrumental for Stoke since joining them from Werder Bremen three years ago. If you fancy him to repeat this feat, you can get 3/1 on Arnautovic to be Stoke's Top Goalscorer.
Mark Hughes is yet to win a major trophy as a manager and with the players available to him, it could be his best chance to do so. The League Cup is a competition that the top teams don’t prioritise so it could be the perfect competition for Hughes to take seriously. Stoke are best-price 33/1 to win the tournament.
With Stoke consistently finishing in the top half of the table, you would think that a top 10 finish is the minimum expected by the club and you can currently get odds of 2/1 that they achieve this again. If you’re feeling slightly ambitious and believe it could be the season that Stoke finally break into the top 6, you can get 14/1.