Competition: Premier League – Stoke City vs. Manchester City
Venue: Brittania Stadium – Saturday, December 5 – 08:45 EST (12:45 GMT)
Match Odds: Stoke City 4/1 – Draw 14/5 – Manchester City 4/6
Stoke City will have other plans though as they will see this match as a free swing at a big club and they might see this as something of a ‘nothing to lose’ fixture.
With 12 of their 21 points coming away from home, the Britannia hasn’t been as intimidating this year as it usually is. It did, however, see the Potters beat champions Chelsea last time out 1-0 and a similar result would delight the home crowd as well as former City boss Mark Hughes.
Stoke City’s Premier League record: P14 – W5 – D4 – L5
Stoke are currently the lowest scoring team in the league, having netted just 11 goals, and will put that down as the main reason they are not higher in the table. More success in front of goal could see them break into the top ten but that will be a tough task against the Citizens this week.
The Potters are on a high as they managed to book a place in the League Cup semifinals with a 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night and will hope to keep momentum building.
Manchester City come into this match without a win from last three on the road, which makes it difficult to understand how they find themselves at the top of the Premier League.
City are the highest scorers in the top flight this season (30) and it’s fortunate that they are, given their defensive frailties when captain Vincent Kompany isn’t available.
Without the absences of David Silva, Sergio Aguero and the aforementioned Kompany, City always look a better side and having all three of those back and fit again will be a real boost for the side. Silva is back in action, with Aguero also improving his match fitness levels so things are looking up for Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
Manchester City’s Premier League record: P14 – W9 – D2 – L3
With just two points separating the top four at the moment, City will settle for nothing less than a win on Saturday as they look to take a grip of the league with the busy Christmas schedule about to get underway.
This will be the 15th Premier League clash between the two sides. City have only lost two of the previous 14 meetings and will be hoping for a repeat performance from their last visit to the Britannia as they won 4-1 in February.
Stoke City are without Shay Given, Peter Crouch and Peter Odemwingie through injury. Marc Muniesa is a doubt but could play a part.
Manchester City will be without several players as Fernando, Jesus Navas, Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta are all suffering with injuries. Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala and Sergio Aguero are all doubts but should feature. David Silva returned to the team on Tuesday and will start here.
Stoke City’s last five: L/D/W/W/L
Manchester City’s last five: D/W/D/L/W
Key Stat: Manchester City have only lost one of their last 16 meetings with Stoke City.
Key Player: Kevin De Bruyne – Summer signing De Bruyne has been sensational since joining from Wolfsburg and is adding some vital goals from midfield (4) as well as racking up six assists so far. Expect him to be influential on Saturday.
Stoke City 0-1 Manchester City – Matches between these two are usually low scoring affairs and we’re not expecting that to change too much here. We expect City to win but not by much. This should be a tough game for both, and should make for good viewing.