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
By Ryan Benson
Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Cameron
Pennant, N'Zonzi, Adam, Kightly
Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov
Yaya Toure, Garcia
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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Stoke 0-3 Manchester City FC
- 14.87 %
Stoke 1-3 Manchester City FC
- 12.76 %
Stoke 0-2 Manchester City FC
- 11.57 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 14, 2013||Stoke 0 - Manchester City FC 0|
|England - FA Cup (FA)||Jan 26, 2013||Stoke 0 - Manchester City FC 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 1, 2013||Manchester City FC 3 - Stoke 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 15, 2012||Stoke 1 - Manchester City FC 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 24, 2012||Stoke 1 - Manchester City FC 1|
|Dec 18, 2013||Stoke 0 - Man Utd. 2||CCUP|
|Dec 14, 2013||Hull 0 - Stoke 0||EPL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Stoke 3 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Stoke 0 - Cardiff City 0||EPL|
|Nov 30, 2013||Everton 4 - Stoke 0||EPL|
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed