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Premier League

  • 15 September 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 27101
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Stoke - Manchester City Preview: Champions looking for first win in six at Britannia Stadium

Roberto Mancini's side travel to Staffordshire in search of their first clean sheet of the season, while an old England strike force could be re-kindled for the hosts

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

STOKE CITY

Begovic
Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Cameron
Pennant, N'Zonzi, Adam, Kightly
Crouch, Owen
MANCHESTER CITY
 
Hart
Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov
Yaya Toure, Garcia
Nasri, Silva
Tevez, Dzeko

When the champions visit every manager hopes to have as many players available for selection as possible, and Tony Pulis has almost a full squad to pick from this weekend.

Matthew Etherington (hamstring) and Andy Wilkinson (concussion) were both considered doubts for the match, but Pulis confirmed they could play a part while Michael Owen, Steven N'Zonzi and Maurice Edu may make their debuts.

Jamie Ness (groin) is still ruled out after picking up a knock against Swindon Town in the League Cup, but after appearing for the reserves in midweek Mamady Sidibe could return from a similar injury.

Manchester City still have a few players ruled out, such as Jack Rodwell (knee), Pablo Zabaleta (hamstring) and Mario Balotelli (eye), while Sergio Aguero (knee) will be touch-and-go until Saturday.

However, Gareth Barry (lower abdomen) and Micah Richards (ankle) could return and, should they pass fitness tests, they will likely start on the bench.

Roberto Mancini could also give debuts to his three deadline-day signings Matija Nastasic, Maicon and Javi Garcia with the latter two the most likely to start.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester City are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and have conceded two goals in three of their four matches.
  • Yaya Toure has so far averaged 99 passes per match this season, the best in the Premier League.
  • Mancini's men have failed to win on each of their last five visits to the Britannia Stadium.
  • Garcia, Nastasic and Maicon could all make debuts for the Premier League champions.
  • In his last six matches against Stoke, Carlos Tevez has scored four goals.
  • Stoke have won just one of their last 14 league matches.
  • Owen (pictured right), Edu and N'Zonzi are also in line for their first Potters' appearances.
  • Owen could line-up alongside Peter Crouch once again. The last time the duo played together was a 3-0 England home win against Russia in 2007, with the former Manchester United man scoring twice.
  • So far this season Stoke have allowed their opponents the fewest number of shots on target; seven.

Players to watch

M. Owen

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The former England international will almost certainly play some part in this fixture and, although the weight of expectation on his shoulders will not be anywhere near what he has experienced in the past, Stoke fans will still be pinning much of their hopes for this season on him.

He could rekindle a past international partnership with Peter Crouch, a duo that worked fairly well on several occasions for the Three Lions and should he get a couple of opportunities on goal, one would bet on him scoring at least one.

V. Kompany

Position: Defender

Games: 13

  • 0
  • 4
  • 0

The champions' defence has not been particularly water-tight so far this term, only once conceding less than two goals in a match, and physical Stoke are hardly the team to give a defence an easy ride, meaning Kompany will need to be on his game.

The Crouch-Owen partnership potentially awaits the Belgian, and although he is more than good enough to deal with them, they pose two very different threats, therefore adjusting to each one during the match will be one of his biggest tasks as City chase their first clean sheet of the season.

Editor's Prediction

Previous meetings between teams can often count for very little, but it is against teams such as City that Stoke and their fans raise their game, meaning it would not be shock to see Mancini's men drop points.

Last season a Crouch wonder-strike saw the hosts earn a point at the Britannia and a similar result would be the most likely bet once again this season.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Stoke City

Manchester City

Wins
1
1
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City
Draw
Manchester City FC MNC
Manchester City FC Manchester City
21%
69%

Top 3 Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
0 - 3
Manchester City FC MNC
Stoke City FC STO
1 - 3
Manchester City FC MNC
Stoke City FC STO
0 - 2
Manchester City FC MNC

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