Manchester City - Stoke City Preview: Hosts looking to leapfrog Arsenal into third in repeat of Saturday's FA Cup final
Tony Pulis' men will be looking for revenge following their defeat at Wembley but will have to find their first ever point at the City of Manchester stadium in order to do so
By Jonathan Birchall
|Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Richards, Kompany, Boyata, Kolarov; De Jong, Barry; A Johnson, Y Toure, Silva; Dzeko.|
Roberto Mancini may look to rotate his side so as to allow a little more recovery time for some of his charges still jaded from their FA Cup triumph but with third place and therefore automatic qualification for the Champions League up for grabs, the Italian won't be taking this game lightly.
There are no new injury concerns for the Citizens, with Shay Given and Jerome Boateng the club's only long-term absentees and it'll therefore be a matter of who needs the rest in the eyes of the former Inter boss.
|Stoke City (4-4-2): Begovic; Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson; Pennant, Whelan, Delap, Walters; Carew, Jones.|
Matthew Etherington was substituted in the second half at Wembley looking a shadow of his usual self having overcome hamstring trouble and may well be rested to aid his recovery but there are no new injury worries for the travelling Potters.
Danny Higgingbotham, Ricardo Fuller and Mamady Sidibe are all out until the end of the season and will therefore not feature in Manchester.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- No team have won 1-0 as many times as Manchester City this season who have secured the result six times.
- Having kept teams out 16 times this season, Joe Hart (pictured) has picked up the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season.
- Mancini’s men have scored fewer headers than any other team in the league this season, only managing to nod in twice.
- The Eastlands outfit have the worst disciplinary record in the Premier League, picking up 73 yellow cards and 5 reds since the season began.
- Stoke City have lost all eight of the games away to sides currently sat in the top half, the worst record in the league.
- If games finished after 45 minutes in the Premier League, Tony Pulis’ men would be sat in the relegation zone. The Staffordshire club have never picked up a point at Eastlands.
- The visitors possess the tallest squad in the division, averaging out at 6ft 1in.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City 2-0 Stoke City
- 21.43 %
Manchester City 2-1 Stoke City
- 15.06 %
Manchester City 1-0 Stoke City
- 13.03 %
|Premier League (EPL)||14 Sep 2013||Stoke City 0 - Manchester City 0|
|FA Cup (FA)||26 Jan 2013||Stoke City 0 - Manchester City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Jan 2013||Manchester City 3 - Stoke City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||15 Sep 2012||Stoke City 1 - Manchester City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||24 Mar 2012||Stoke City 1 - Manchester City 1|
|7 Dec 2013||Southampton 1 - Manchester City 1||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||West Bromwich Albion 2 - Manchester City 3||EPL|
|1 Dec 2013||Manchester City 3 - Swansea City 0||EPL|
|27 Nov 2013||Manchester City 4 - FC Viktoria Plzeň 2||UCL|
|24 Nov 2013||Manchester City 6 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|34||Nigel De Jong||Midfielder|
|10||John Alieu Carew||Striker|
City’s Wembley hero has been in superb form all season for the Citizens and will be looking to do more damage to Tony Pulis’ side at Eastlands on Tuesday evening. The Ivorian’s ability to break from midfield with pace and a deftness of touch that belies his 6ft 3in frame makes him almost impossible to defend at times and Stoke will look to cut off his possession at the source by not allowing the hosts' deeper-lying midfielders time on the ball to pick him out.
The former Liverpool winger was roughed up by Roberto Mancini’s men at Wembley but still showed glimpses of quality that can on occasion set him apart from his team-mates. If the 28-year-old can get at the sometimes immobile Alexander Kolarov then Stoke may be able to break through the hosts' solid defensive unit as he looks to pitch balls into the area from the flank.
All of the players were out on their feet come the final whistle on Saturday, with the energy-sapping Wembley pitch having taken its toll and despite City’s less-than sober celebrations, Mancini still has the ability to switch around those who are still feeling weary with quality from deeper in the squad and I therefore can’t see past the FA Cup winners overtaking Arsenal with a comfortable win at Eastlands.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed