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Premier League

  • March 24, 2012
  • • 17:30
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 27535
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Stoke City - Manchester City Preview: Mancini's side have scored one less goal on their travels than Potters have at home and away

Tony Pulis' men host the title contenders after almost picking up a shock win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in midweek. Watch it live on ESPN this Saturday


PROBABLE LINEUPS
STOKE CITY

Begovic
Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson
Shotton, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington
Crouch, Walters


MANCHESTER CITY


Hart
Richards, Kompany, K Toure, Clichy
 Y Toure, Barry
Silva, Aguero, Nasri
Balotelli


Stoke boss Tony Pulis will be without Salif Diao after the midfielder picked up an injury in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Wednesday. Glenn Whelan, who came on for the former Senegal international at White Hart Lane, should replace him. Ricardo Fuller is the only other enforced absentee as he serves the final game of his three-match ban for violent conduct following his red card in the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea earlier in the month.

Roberto Mancini almost has a full squad heading to the Britannia Stadium, with club captain Vincent Kompany likely to play having recovered from a calf injury obtained earlier in March. He will probably partner Kolo Toure in the centre of defence, with Stefan Savic dropping to the bench. Joleon Lescott (groin) is unlikely to feature on Saturday and is now Roberto Mancini's only injury worry.



DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester City have scored just one less goal away from home in the top flight this season (27) than Stoke City have scored both at the Britannia Stadium and on their travels (28).
  • Carlos Tevez (pictured right) played for City for the first time since September in the 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday, and assisted Samir Nasri’s winning goal. He could feature again on Saturday.
  • Pulis' men have failed to score only once in their last seven domestic matches, in the 1-0 defeat away to Chelsea.
  • Mancini's side can go top of the Premier League table by two points with a win over Stoke this weekend, with Manchester United in action on Monday at home to Fulham.
  • Although both sides are fighting markedly different battles this season, the league is both teams’ only remaining competition, having been eliminated from all other cups.
  • Both teams have shared familiar foes in the domestic trophies this season. Manchester City were knocked out of the League Cup by Liverpool at the semi-final stage, while the Potters were defeated in the FA Cup and the League Cup by Kenny Dalglish’s side.
  • Sergio Aguero scored either side of Adam Johnson’s 25-yard strike in a 3-0 win over the Potters back in December.
  • A reverse of that scoreline is unlikely but not inconceivable. Mancini's side have only won two of their last seven away top-flight matches, with losses to Swansea City and Sunderland among those dropped points.
  • Aguero, David Silva and Samir Nasri have as many assists between them (27) as the entire Stoke team in the league this campaign.

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Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Asmir BegovicGoalkeeper
4Robert HuthDefender
12Marc WilsonDefender
17Ryan ShawcrossDefender
28Andy WilkinsonDefender
6Glenn WhelanMidfielder
18Dean WhiteheadMidfielder
26Matthew EtheringtonMidfielder
19Jonathan WaltersStriker
25Peter CrouchStriker
33Cameron JeromeStriker
29Thomas SørensenGoalkeeper
20Matthew UpsonDefender
30Ryan ShottonDefender
7Jermaine PennantMidfielder
24Rory DelapMidfielder
8W. PalaciosMidfielder
9Kenwyne JonesStriker
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
2Micah RichardsDefender
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
22Gael ClichyDefender
4Kolo ToureDefender
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
8Samir NasriMidfielder
21David SilvaStriker
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
10Edin DzekoStriker
45Mario BalotelliStriker
30Costel PantilimonGoalkeeper
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
15Stefan SavicDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
10Carlos TévezStriker
Players to Watch
Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 25
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
On paper, Manchester City should brush the Potters aside. However, for much of the season Tony Pulis’ men have proved tough to score against and a 0-0 draw is not out of the question. To have any chance of beating the Blues they will need a striker such as Peter Crouch to prove his top flight pedigree by nodding in a counter attacking goal or two.
The former Liverpool striker will no doubt be the focus of Stoke’s crosses on Saturday. He scored against his former club in last weekend's FA quarter-final defeat and the majority of the Britannia Stadium will want his goalscoring head to be screwed on once more this weekend.On paper, Manchester City should brush the Potters aside. However, for much of the season Tony Pulis’ men have proved tough to score against and a 0-0 draw is not out of the question. To have any chance of beating the Blues they will need a striker such as Peter Crouch to prove his top flight pedigree by nodding in a counter attacking goal or two.
The former Liverpool striker will no doubt be the focus of Stoke’s crosses on Saturday. He scored against his former club in last weekend's FA quarter-final defeat and the majority of the Britannia Stadium will want his goalscoring head to be screwed on once more this weekend.
Samir Nasri
Samir Nasri
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Frenchman scored the winner in the club's comeback against Roberto Di Matteo's men and seems to have finally found a fresh lease of life at Eastlands. His big-money move from Arsenal in the summer did not immediately put the midfielder into the first team. On Saturday, his manager will be hoping the France international can continue to prove what a quality player he is.
Prediction
Had Manchester City stumbled against Chelsea on Wednesday I might have foreseen a challenge from the Spurs-conquerors, but as it stands Roberto Mancini’s men should have enough momentum to eventually win this clash comfortably. Stoke City at home are not opponents to be underestimated however, and the Blues cannot afford to take the foot off the pedal should they hope to beat Manchester United to the finishing line.
Editor's Prediction

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