Fellow blues, please take the time to read the 8 words above. Ain`t it fun?
So what of the actual game? A toughie and no mistake, Stoke will press, harass, bang, prang balls into our box at every given opportunity.
‘Saturday will be harder than United,’ admitted Mancini. ‘Stoke are a strong team and a very difficult team. To think they are an easy team would be a mistake.’
‘If we want to win we need to play very well. We should pay attention in every situation. We cannot concede anything.’
Quote on the manager- Erikkson remembers Mancini as being “awful” with referees.
– ‘But that is the way the club has been built over the last four or five years. They are a committed group. They have to believe in themselves and give themselves the confidence they need. But they beat Arsenal, and there is no greater fillip than that for us.’
What is said about them- Paul scally on Tony Pulis “In my 37 years of working with many, many people, Tony Pulis is the most evil, despicable person I have ever worked with. I have never doubted his coaching ability, in fact I`ve always said Tony was a very good coach, but I don`t have much more to say about him. The reason the team performed so well in 1999 was they were a great bunch of lads. My grandmother could have run that team .
Manchester City Team News:
Mancini has really earned his money in the past 4 weeks, it would have been so easy to tail off after beating United but he kept our focus on the bigger picture, the bigger (monetary) prize, the Champions League- mission accomplished. He has rested players that have looked jaded and whom we could afford to (NDJ, Vincent and Silva are unfortunately not) and kept us fresh.
Zabaleta was subbed due to injury on Tuesday, but should be fit likewise Barry wasn`t risked but should be fit.
I believe the team that will start Saturday will be,
Hart- Richards- Kompany- Lescott-Kolarov- Barry- De Jong- Toure- Johnson- Ballotelli- Silva
Player to watch: Carlos Tevez
Yes I know I don`t expect him to be in the starting line up ( I always think if a player isn`t fully fit he should be brought on to exert his influence ( remember Peter Reid in the `91 Maine Road Derby)but what a player to bring off the bench in the last 20 minutes to harass tired defenders! As long as his low fitness levels do not affect his finishing if presented with a chance.
Stoke City Team News:
Stoke are awaiting on fitness tests on Matthew Etherington and Robert Huth, ruled out are Ricardo Fuller, Danny ( Louie spencer) higginbottom and Mamady Sidibe.
Sorenson- Wilkinson- Huth-Shawcross-Whitehead- Ethertington-Pennant-Wilson-Whelan- Walters- Jones
Player to watch: Robert Huth
he is a fitness doubt, but the fact he is a centre half and their top goalscorer, says all you need to know.
Match Facts & Stats
Battle of the tallest teams
City have not beaten Stoke since 2009 but have never played them at a neutral venue. We did beat them 9-8 on pens at the victoria ground in 1981.
He of the infamous Fergie time in the 4-3 reverse, playing over 5 minutes of 4 minutes injury time because Craig Bellamy celebrated for over a minute, but gave us 10 seconds after the 4th when their celebration was timed at 1 mins 16 seconds- me bitter?
Anyway let us hope he is strong and not as one eyed as he appears, Stoke really do tread a thin line with their “tackles” but are also the softest in terms of “felt his breath on my neck, fall over, lump it in the box”.
OMG! here goes, City to win 2-1 Blues fans to have minor coronary’s in any injury time.
Manchester City V Stoke City at Gods Own Ground.