Date: 13th September 2013 at 6:01pm
Written by:

Injury hit City take on Stoke looking for a timely boost ahead of the Champions League opening night and the Manchester derby…

Vital Quotes:

Manuel Pellegrini:
‘I think for me, the team and the club the pressure must always be the highest pressure – to have good performances in every tournament we play; Premier League, Champions League, Capital One and FA Cup. For me it is always the same. The pressure is positive.’

Mark Hughes:
‘Man City’s record at The Britannia isn’t great. We were well beaten by 10 men when I brought them here. They’ve got a group of outstanding players. Year on year they spend a significant amount, whether that can continue I’m not sure. Pellegrini will face pressure. They are one of the top clubs in world football due to resources…The Man City dressing room seems happier than last year. I read newspapers, seemed to be a bit of noise coming out last year.’

Stoke City Team News:

OUT:
Marc Muniesa

Player to watch: Stephen Ireland

The man we once praised as a Superman lost the plot towards leaving City and beyond, delivering an embarrassing public rant before sliding into inexorable ignomy with Aston Villa. Mark Hughes has now given him the chance to resurrect a career that could have and should have been so much more both domestically and internationally. His appearance from the wilderness will make for compelling viewing.

Manchester City Team News:

OUT:
Vincent Kompany
Micah Richards
Martin Demichelis
David Silva
Gael Clichy
John Guidetti

Player to watch: Alvaro Negredo

The Beast of Vallecas is on fire for both Manchester City and Spain and living up to his nickname with some typically committed performances laced with fine goals. In fact, with Sevilla and City he has hit 17 goals in his last 16 appearances. Carries the type of threat City haven’t taken to Stoke in many years and has got to be worth a start.

Match Facts & Stats

THE NUMBERS GAME:
Stoke have never lost a Premier League fixture at home to The Blues, winning 1 and drawing 4 games. The last time City won at Stoke in a league game was in the dark days of 1999. A 0-1 City win with Gerard Wiekens the scorer.

With 6 points, Mark Hughes has picked up more points in 3 league games as Stoke gaffer than he did during 12 matches in charge of a dreadful QPR whereby he accrued 4 points.

City subs have scored in each of The Blues 3 opening Premier League matches.

HEAD TO HEAD:
League: 30 Stoke Wins, 21 Draws, 37 City Wins
League Cup: 2 Stoke Wins, 1 Draw, 3 City Wins
FA Cup: 3 Stoke Wins, 1 Draw, 4 City Wins
Total: 35 Stoke Wins, 23 Draws, 45 City Wins

THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME:
Sa 26Jan 2013 Stoke 0 – 1 Man City FAC4
Tu 01Jan 2013 Man City 3 – 0 Stoke PL
Sa 15Sep 2012 Stoke 1 – 1 Man City PL
Sa 24Mar 2012 Stoke 1 – 1 Man City PL
We 21Dec 2011 Man City 3 – 0 Stoke PL
Tu 17May 2011 Man City 3 – 0 Stoke PL
Sa 14May 2011 Man City 1 – 0 Stoke FACSF
Sa 27Nov 2010 Stoke 1 – 1 Man City PL

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BETTING: Stoke 5 Draw 14/5 City 8/13 Racing Post Soccerbase

TV COVERAGE: BBC Match of The Day
LiveOnSat.com

Ref Watch:

Mark Clattenburg of County Durham
-Last Season:: Sa 15Sep 2012 Stoke 1 – 1 Man City PL, Sa 20Oct 2012 West Brom 1 – 2 Man City PL, Su 17Feb 2013 Man City 4 – 0 Leeds FAC This Season: No City Games Reffed To Date-2012/13: 36 Games, 104 Yellows, 6 Reds -2013/2014: 4 Games, 11 Yellows, 0 Reds.

Match Prediction:

Johnny On The Spot:
Stoke away represents another fixture that this season Manchester City must do far better in if The Citizens are to secure the Premier League title. Manuel Pellegrini’s brief is clear and The Engineer will be mindful of the fact that City must improve in all of the fixtures that they failed to secure wins in during the last campaign, away results being paramount. This is a tremendously important game ahead of a key early season phase and it’s significance has heightened since City surrendered three points at Cardiff. Should City seal the win, the rest will follow in this correspondent’s opinion, it’s that pivotal. Accepted, The Blues have shipped injuries to important personnel but it will be time to give over if a hugely talented squad cannot take the game to Stoke with success this time around. I expect City to tighten up at the back and deliver. Stoke 0 City 2

Next Fixtures:

all times East Manchester BST
Tu 17 Sep 20h45 Viktoria Plzen, Doosan Arena, CLGS1
Su 22 Sep 16h00 The rags, The Etihad PL
Tu 24 Sep 19h45 Wigan Athletic, The Etihad LC3
Sa 28 Sep 15h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park PL
We 02 Oct Bayern Munich, The Etihad, CLGS2
Sa 05 Oct 12h45 Everton, The Etihad PL
Sa 19 Oct 17h30 West Ham, Upton Park PL
We 23 Oct 17h00 CSKA Moscow, Arena Khimki CLGS3
Su 27 Oct 16h00 Chelsea, Stamford Bridge PL
Sa 02 Nov 15h00 GMT Norwich City, The Etihad PL
Tu 05 Nov 17h00 GMT CSKA Moscow, The Etihad CLGS4
Su 10 Nov 1405 GMT Sunderland, Stadium of Light PL
Su 24 Nov 13h30 GMT Spurs, The Etihad PL
We 27 Nov 19h45 GMT Viktoria Plzen, The Etihad CLGS5
Tu 01 Dec 16h10 GMT Swansea City, The Etihad PL
We 04 Dec 20h00 GMT West Brom, The Hawthorns PL

 
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