Even though Manchester City have a reputation that dwarfs that of Stoke’s, the Etihad Stadium outfit will not be looking forward to this trip to the Britannia Stadium. With Stoke regarded as one of the more physical and ugly teams in the Premier League, there is definitely the potential for a scalp as the defending title holders travel to Staffordshire.
After experiencing a surprisingly quiet summer in relation to transfers, Stoke supporters will be very excited ahead of this game as they prepare to see some of their new players take to the field. The likes of Charlie Adam and Steven Nzonzi joined the club on transfer deadline day and Tony Pulis will be hoping that both of these players can start contributing to victories, with the Potters stuck on three points after drawing their opening three games of the season. While the goalless score line with Arsenal was undoubtedly well received by supporters, aspirations will have been higher for the Reading and Wigan games which both ended 1-1.
Manchester City on the other hand haven’t experienced the solid start that everyone predicted, with Roberto Mancini’s men already dropping points after drawing with Liverpool several weeks ago. That means that City have managed seven points from the opening three games, although that figure could have been even lower had it not been for a late comeback against Southampton on the opening day of the season. Following on from the above, it’s clear to see that City need new blood and Mancini worked as hard as he could to bring in several new faces on transfer deadline day. The likes of Scott Sinclair, Maicon, Matija Nastasic, Javi Garcia all joined the club and the quartet should be able to provide that cutting edge that City are clearly missing at the moment.
As for team news, Michael Owen could make a surprise start for the home side after completing his transfer to the club over the past week. Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi are also looking to make their debut, as the Potters search for their first win of the campaign. City on the other hand could be set for a massive boost with Sergio Aguero poised to return following a knee problem. Elsewhere, Mario Balotelli could also make the starting eleven after recovering from eye surgery, while Mancini could hand debuts to several of his new acquisitions.
Even though Stoke are going to be difficult opposition for City, we still don’t foresee anything other than an away victory in this clash. City are far superior than their opponents and while the home side have been tough to beat this season, our tip is still going to be a 2-0 win for Roberto Mancini’s side.