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Why the Britannia is no longer a fortress for Stoke

Sunday 18th March 2018

Stoke City lost 2-1 at home to Everton in Saturday afternoon’s Premier League clash, their seventh home defeat of the season.

No other side has lost as many home games this campaign. Visiting clubs are winning more regularly than Stoke (7:5) at the former Britannia Stadium, now referred to as the Bet365 for 'we want your money' purposes. Is their fortress analogy now dead and buried?

Stoke’s home record was outstanding before this season

After earning promotion to the Premier League in 2008, Stoke City build up a reputation for being a difficult away match. Before this season, the Potters had played 171 home games in the top flight, boasting an impressive 277 points (1.62 ppg). Under Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes Stoke took points in nearly three-quarters of their matches.

At the Britannia Stadium down the years, Stoke pulled off impressive scalps and earned a reputation for being a bogey club for the top Premier League sides to visit. Under former manager Tony Pulis, the Potters were hard to break down and physically intimidating for visiting clubs, which often led to shock results.

Stoke’s home record against the Premier League big-six (since 2008)

Club GP W D L Pts
Arsenal 9 4 3 2 15
Liverpool 9 4 2 3 14
Manchester City 9 2 5 2 11
Tottenham 9 3 0 6 9
Manchester United 9 2 3 4 9
Chelsea 9 2 2 5 8
Until this season, Stoke were never a pushover and the Britannia never an inviting destination.
Until this season, Stoke were never a pushover and the Britannia never an inviting destination.

Things have unravelled this season. Now the answer to 'can they do it on a Monday night at Stoke?’ is most often yes. The Potters are no longer a force to be reckoned with on home soil. They have gifted more points to the visiting clubs than they’ve picked up themselves.

Capitulation

The Potters are 19th in the Premier League with 27 points from 31 games. They haven't won in their last seven. Paul Lambert replaced Mark Hughes midway through the campaign but looks set to take the team down to the Championship. On his eight-game watch, the Potters have only won once.

As noted their seven home defeats are most in the Premier League. So are the 25 goals shipped at the Britannia. Their 19 points from a possible 48 is the fourth-worst return in 2017/18.

Stoke began the campaign strongly with two wins and a draw from their first four home games in the league. Then three defeats in the following five set the tone for the rest of the season.  They have managed only one home win in nearly three months, scoring just two goals in that time.

Stoke’s home wins to date in the 2017/18 Premier League season

Date Score Opponent
19 August 1-0 Arsenal
30 September 2-1 Southampton
2 December 2-1 Swansea
23 December 3-1 West Brom
20 January 2-0 Huddersfield

After the Arsenal win in August, Stoke have only beaten sides 14th and below in the table on home soil. They’re currently among the lowest scorers with the most porous defence. It's not what they used to be at the Britannia and it should go without saying it isn't good enough.

Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.


Total articles: 318

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