Manuel Pellegrini’s men backed up their 3-1 victory against the Saints last weekend with a 4-1 victory against Hull City in the League Cup meeting that saw them set up an exciting clash with Everton in the semi finals. City have bounced back well after the humiliating defeat against Liverpool not long ago and have played really well in the Cup game. They will face a Stoke side that also booked a place in the semi-finals of the League Cup.
Mark Hughes will be not be pleased with his team’s recent performances as they lost to Sunderland in the last week’s Premier League fixture. They however beat Sheffield Wednesday in the mid week and will hope that they can carry that confidence against the top side in the table. Here is the preview of the game along with the Team News, Predictions and Expected Line-ups.
The Stoke City vs Manchester City games will be played on Saturday the 5th of December at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke. The kick-off is scheduled at 12:45 pm BST (6:15 pm IST).
Stoke City will welcome Ryan Shawcross back into the team after he served his one match ban he picked up last weekend in the mid-week cup fixture. He will start for Stoke in the heart of their defense. The fans were happy to see the return of Peter Crouch after an injury but it lasted for just 15 minutes as he picked up another knock in the last game. So Jonathan Walters will start alongside Mame Diouf up top for Stoke on Saturday.
Pellegrini will not be happy as his star striker, Sergio Aguero picked up a slight niggle in the last game and is doubtful for the trip to Stoke. However, mid-fielder David Silva made his come-back in the mid-week victory and will start for the Citizens at the Britannia Stadium. Joe Hart and Mangala are still out for the visitors while Vincent Kompany is also not fit enough for this game. City might be a bit pale at the back for this game.
Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters; Whelan, Adam; Shaqiri, Bojan, Arnautovic; Walters.
Caballero; Sagna, Otamendi, Demichelis, Kolarov; Toure, Delph; De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Aguero .
David Silva vs Charlie Adam:
Charlie Adam has been an important player for Stoke City this season. His break up play and accuracy of passing has often helped his team in moving forward but he will have to deal with a fit again David Silva who is exquisite when given some space. Silva played the full game mid-week and is fit enough to start this game and might prove to be the difference between the two side on the day.
Otamendi vs Bojan:
Bojan has been terrific for Stoke City in the recent games. His movement and technical ability is a nightmare for defenders. Nicolas Otamendi will have to deal with the danger the ex-Barcelona man possesses. Otamendi has at times been caught giving space to the opposition forwards and Bojan will exploit that weakness in this game. It will be interesting to see who comes out victorious from this battle.
Stoke City: 9/2
Manchester City: 4/6
Manchester City have a great squad that can beat any team in the country at the moment. But they have their own set of weaknesses that may be exploited by a rampant Stoke side who have looked good so far. It will not be easy for the Citizens to get all three points from this game.
Stoke City 1-1 Manchester City