Pre-season favourites Stoke City now 200/1 to be promoted from the Championship

Pre-season favourites Stoke City now 200/1 to be promoted from the Championship

Pre-season favourites Stoke City now 200/1 to be promoted from the Championship

At the start of the Championship season, Stoke City were overwhelming favourites to win promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

The Potters came into the season with the bulk of the squad that were relegated from the Premier League in the previous campaign, having seasoned campaigners in their side such as Jack Butland, Ryan Shawcross and Joe Allen.

Paul Lambert was let go, allowing for Gary Rowett to take the reigns at the Bet365 Stadium after he enjoyed successful spells with both Birmingham City and Derby County in the Championship in previous seasons.

On the face of it, it appeared to be a solid match with Rowett being recognised for his ability to organise a team and make them defensively sound, but it never quite clicked for him at Stoke.

Poor start

They conceded nine goals in their first four Championship matches of the season, including a 3-1 defeat to Leeds United on the opening day and were defeated 3-0 by recently relegated Wigan Athletic at home.

With only one win in their first seven games, the pressure was on Stoke’s shoulders right from the start of the campaign and at no points have they ever really looked as if they were in contention for promotion.

Rowett won just eight of his 26 Championship league games in charge of Stoke, drawing 11 and lost seven before having his contract terminated following their 2-0 defeat to Bristol City back in January.

They went into the season as heavy favourites with bookmakers, being priced as low as 11/8 at one stage with Bet365 to get back to the Premier League at the first time of asking back in August.

However, they now have fallen out as far as 200/1 with BetVictor to win promotion to the Premier League this season. The Potters are 13 points off the pace of the play-offs with 15 matches left to play and have now lost each of their last three games in the Championship.

Relegation?

Their form has been particularly poor since Christmas, winning just one of their eight games since then and have lost four of their last five matches. Since Christmas they have scored just three goals in eight games, failing to find the back of the net six times.

Nathan Jones has been unable to turn around their poor run of form since taking over as manager and leaving Luton, with most Potters fans now just ready for the end of the season to arrive.

As if going from 11/8 on to win promotion to 200/1 wasn’t bad enough, Stoke are now more likely to be relegated this season than they are promoted.

Bet365 currently have Stoke priced at 150/1 to be relegated so they aren’t in any real danger of suffering back-to-back relegations, but it highlights just how far they have fallen this season.

Stoke are currently 12 points clear of the relegation zone, leaving them one point closer to the bottom three than they are to the top six heading into Wednesday night’s fixture against Wigan away from home.

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