From Liverpool, to Real Madrid and Manchester United, Owen arrives at Stoke hoping for success, Phil Kitromilides looks at his chances of starting and scoring for the PottersAt the age of 32 Michael Owen has, it would seem, been granted one final opportunity to play at the highest level of English football by moving to Stoke City.
The former England striker and winner of the Ballon D'Or in 2001 has been plagued by injury for much of his career, but should he manage to stay fit, could prove an extremely valuable asset for Tony Pulis.
William Hill are running special markets on how many Premier League matches Owen will start this season and how many goals he will score.
During his three seasons at Old Trafford, Owen started just six league matches, due to a combination of injury and competition for places. William Hill offer odds of 5/2 (3.50) that he will start between four and eight games this season which would certainly be a marked improvement.
There will of course be stiff competition for places in the Potters' forward line, with Peter Crouch, Jonathan Walters, Cameron Jermone and Kenwyne Jones all vying for a position up front.
Yet, should Owen rekindle the understanding that he once developed with Peter Crouch in an England shirt, it could prove an effective pairing and the price of 3/1 (4.00) for him to start between 9-12 games looks worthy of consideration.
One thing that Owen has always been is a goal-scorer, and his instinctive finishing still remains despite his lack of first team minutes. Though Hills make him scoring under four goals in the Premier League the most likely outcome at 11/10 (2.10), there is value to be had in backing him to net between four and seven which is offered at 2/1 (3.00).
Owen has gone to the Britannia Stadium to play football and must have been given assurances that he will get an opportunity to feature for the first team. Though his once blistering pace has diminished, Owen remains capable of scoring in a variety of situations and is more than able of netting four to seven goals in the Premier League, either starting matches or from the bench.
Stoke, of course, are not the most prolific of sides and the likelihood of Owen scoring 8-10 goals at 7/2 (4.50) is small, but four to seven appears to be an extremely backable selection at a tempting price that will give punters and interest throughout the Premier League campaign.
|Owen to score 4-7 Premier League goals at 2/1 (3.00) with William Hill|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.