Writer: Lloyd Reddin
Date:Saturday September 22 2012
After last week`s impressive draw against Premier League champions Manchester City, the Vital Stoke prediction leaders have opened a gap at the top of the leader board after Tom Barker, BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson and Editor Lloyd Reddin all predicting last week`s game perfectly.
Here is the league as it stands:
1. Tom Barker Prediction (1-1; 3pt) 7 points
1. Mark Lawrenson Prediction (1-1; 3pt) 7 points
1. Lloyd Reddin Prediction (1-1; 3pt) 7 points
1. Tom McKeon Prediction (0-1; 0pt) 4 points
5. Ryan Kalisz Prediction (1-2; 0pt) 3 points
6. Niall Cope Prediction (2-0; 0pt) 2 points
The Vital Stoke team will go head-to-head with BBC`s Mark Lawrenson in predicting Stoke`s result against European Champions Chelsea.
Points will be given for any member of the team that gets the score correct (3points) or the result correct (Win, Lose or draw (1 point)), and all points will be calculated throughout the season.
The team`s predictions are as followed:
Editor Lloyd Reddin- Chelsea 2-0 Stoke
"Chelsea could be a little jaded from their exploits in midweek and have also started to stutter in the league after their promising start, but I still think they`ll have a enough to beat us today, as we still haven`t found our legs away from home, but we won`t lie down and take like we did a few seasons ago, a couple moments of brilliance from Hazard will be our downpour. "
Co-Editor Tom Barker- Chelsea 2-1 Stoke
"Stoke come firing out of the blocks in the first and half and grab an early lead, however, as we've seen many times before with the Potters at Stamford Bridge, i can't help but feel that Chelsea will pull one back and steal the game from us in the dying embers of the game."
Co-Editor Ryan Kalisz- Chelsea 1-1 Stoke
Co-Editor Tom McKeon- Chelsea2-1 Stoke
"We're generally awful away from home as it is, so I think we'll need something of a miracle to get anything out of a game away at the champions of Europe. Looking at Chelsea's team, it`s difficult to see any other result than a comfortable home win.
"Our performance against Man City was extremely encouraging, N'Zonzi especially was outstanding, and he will no doubt be crucial for us tomorrow in nullifying Chelsea and helping us retain the ball. Who knows, we may get an early set piece goal?
"The one saving grace for Stoke is that Petr Cech isn't the player he once was, so perhaps we may capitalise on that... Even so, they aren't the sort of team who can be overpowered or bullied about, and I think Chelsea have far too much fire-power for Stoke unfortunately, I expect Hazard particularly to put us to the sword."
Co-Editor Niall Cope- Chelsea2-2 Stoke
"The Potters have failed to chalk up a single point away from home in the Premier League at the current four Champions League teams in 16 attempts. It is however against Chelsea that they have come so close to breaking that duck.
'Heartache struck in the first campaign as two injury time goals not only denied them three points but one as well. While last season a late goal sent Stoke to defeat after hanging on for large periods as Ricardo Fuller was sent-off early in the game.
'Pulis and his team will believe they can topple the European Champions after their stuttering week with draws against QPR and Juventus.
'An open game as both sides go in search of a win to kick start their league campaigns, but ultimately ending with them having to settle for a point each."
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson- CHelsea 2-0 Stoke
"Stoke have drawn all four of their league games so far and they will be happy with that.
"Their manager Tony Pulis is a pragmatist and the whole club shares his outlook. Over the course of the season, when you look at who they have played - Manchester City and Arsenal at home, to go with away draws at Reading and Wigan - it feels like a decent return.
"I think everyone knows Stoke will be fine. The thing with them is that there is never a massive fluctuation in their performances. They are not a team which is brilliant or rubbish, always something in between.
"They will not make it easy for Chelsea, who started off so brightly against Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday night but then sort of faded a bit.
"But the Blues will create lots of chances against Stoke, and will see lots of the ball. I think the likes of Oscar and Juan Mata will probably start and, at Stamford Bridge, their movement, pace and guile will be too much for Stoke."
Can anyone pull ahead at the top of the league or can the stragglers pull their way back up the table?
What do you think the score will be? Don`t be afraid to let us know in the comments section below!
Date:Saturday September 22 2012
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