Stoke surrender at Sheff Utd
Stoke boss Michael O'Neill admitted the Potters must fix their away results after seeing a win slip through their fingers at Sheffield United on Saturday. City were looking good value for a win at Bramall Lane after a well-taken second-half goal from Jacob Brown but the Blades bounced back with a three-minute sucker punch to overturn the guests.
O'Neill lamented 'key individual errors' as the catalyst to Stoke's late downfall, saying: "The goals we conceded were disappointing, and they tarnished what I thought was a very good second half for us. We are hugely disappointed to have lost the game and overall our away form hasn't been good enough. We need to address it going forward."
The Potters return to familiar surroundings of the bet365 Stadium on Tuesday night, looking to extend an exceptional run in front of their home supporters, having posted seven wins out of eight in league and cup. Stoke aren't expected to make changes to their preferred 3-4-2-1 system but highly-rated Tyreece Campbell remains unavailable through injury.
Bournemouth impress at Bristol City
Bournemouth extended their unbeaten start to the Championship to 12-games with a dominant display over Bristol City. The Cherries were 2-0 winners at Ashton Gate to consolidate their position at the top of the table Jamal Lowe's close-range finish and Jordan Zemura's super solo goal separate the sides with both goals arriving before the break.
The south coast club were unfortunate not to add to their tally too with Dominic Solanke and substitute Jefferson Lerma seeing late goal-bound efforts blocked. Nevertheless, Bournemouth supremo Scott Parker was pleased with his team's display as they extended their run of clean sheets to five, enjoyed 74% of the ball and won the shot count 21-5.
Speaking post-match, Parker said: "Yeah it was a superb performance, I thought we were fantastic today in every aspect of our game, I thought we were top drawer. If I'm being critical, it's fair to say and not being disrespectful to Bristol City in any way, I thought it probably should have been more than two. But overall, I'm delighted."
Bournemouth's victory came at the end of an emotional week for the club following midfielder David Brooks' cancer diagnosis.
Stoke and Bournemouth have faced-off eight times over the past six years and the Cherries have enjoyed slight supremacy, earning a W4-D1-L3 head-to-head return. Whilst both of last season's meetings were won by the away side, Bournemouth have taken top honours in three of the most recent four match-ups, as well as their last three trips to Staffordshire.
Stoke 2.9215/8 are sitting inside the Championship's top-six with the Potters' home form particularly impressing (W5-D1-L0). Fellow top-10 teams West Brom, Huddersfield and Reading have all been dispatched at the bet365 Stadium with City's underlying performance data metrics supporting the idea that Michael O'Neill's men are a force on home soil.
Bournemouth 2.486/4 are three points clear at the summit of the second-tier, unbeaten in league action under Scott Parker (W8-D2-L0) and have shipped just a solitary strike in six away days (W4-D2-L0). The Cherries' are producing eye-catching numbers on their travels, although Tuesday night's contest will be only the visitors' second trip to a top-15 outfit.
Goals could be at a premium between two well-drilled defences this midweek. Taking only the teams' home and away records into account this term, Under 2.5 Goals has proven a profitable approach in nine of the duos 12 encounters. The average goals per-game in those matches comes in at just 1.83 with pragmatism and preservation top of the priority list.
Under 2.5 Goals is therefore offered at just 1.728/11 but it may instead pay to support Under 0.5 First-Half Goals at an appetising 2.757/4 on the Sportsbook. It's already paid out in seven of the aforementioned 12 home/away clashes involving these two sides, and fits the narrative of a keenly-contested contest between two organised outfits.