Game:- Stoke City vs Manchester City
Competition :- Barclays Premier League
Venue :- Britannia Stadium
Date :- Saturday, 27 November 2010
KO time:- 15:00 BST
Three consecutive Premier League wins have propelled the Potters to as high as eighth in the Barclays Premier League table. Their visitors to the Britannia Stadium are Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City who are just three points from the top of the table. City have won four of their last five away games. Will they repeat the performance they produced at Fulham last weekend? The odds at Centrebet definitely suggest so!
Stoke City – last few games – most recent game on top
v. West Brom (Win 3-0) Etherington, Walters*2
v. Liverpool (Win 2-0) Fuller, Jones
v. Birmingham (Win 3-2) Huth, Fuller, Whitehead
v. Sunderland (Loss 0-2)
There is little left to imagination, with regards to how Stoke will approach this tie. City are very poor in the air, having not scored even a single headed goal this season. Stoke will try to exploit this with their aerial presence on both ends of the football pitch. On loan winger Jermaine Pennant will face a fitness test over a groin injury. Defender Andy Wilkinson also looks set to miss the game with a sore knee. Jon Walters, who scored twice coming off the bench against the Baggies has fully recovered from his groin niggle and may start the game ahead of Ricardo Fuller. Ryan Shawcross, a former Manchester United trainee, will be the bedrock of Stoke’s defence and will pose a real threat from set pieces.
Manchester City – last few games – most recent on top
v. Fulham (Win 4-1) Tevez*2, Zabaleta, Yaya Toure
v. Birmingham City (Draw 0-0)
v. Manchester United (Draw 0-0)
v. West Brom (Win 2-0) Balotelli*2
Mancini silenced his critics with a fine 4-1 away win at Fulham last Sunday, but another iffy performance will see his detractors baying for his head, yet again. The Italian will look to get a lot of height in his squad, to combat Stoke’s aerial threat. Pablo Zabaleta, who scored a stunner last week, is suspended. Micah Richards should take his place at right back. Mario Balotelli is available after serving a three match ban. It will be a toss-up between him and the impressive Jo to play in the left striker position. Tevez will lead the line with David Silva looking to thread passes from the midfield.
Match Verdict: Stoke City 1-2 Manchester City (Jones/Tevez, Kolarov)