Manuel Pellegrini’s has not had the best of starts to his Manchester City career losing to Cardiff City and gathering six points in three games. This match against The Potters is particularly important for the former Malaga manager and considering City’s awful form against Stoke, a win would ensure some courtesy from the Etihad faithful. Since 2008 in five encounters with Stoke at Britannia stadium, the blue half of Manchester have got only four points to their name.
Stoke are also under a new manager this season with Mark Hughes at the helm and he would definitely try to prove a point against his former employers. The Stoke manager would like to have Charlie Adam in the side who did not feature for his National team Scotland in the midweek match due to a muscle spasm. Stephen Ireland may also make his debut for Stoke today with the former City player arriving at the club on transfer deadline day on a season long loan from Aston Villa. Stoke played an impressive passing game against West Ham and they would like to keep the momentum going in favour of them.
Manchester City have a lot of injury worries though with captain Kompany out of action with a groin injury and newcomer Martin Demichelis also a month away from fitness. Playmaker David Silva is also out with a thigh problem and Micah Richards’ hamstring is keeping him off the field.
City would certainly count on Alvaro Negredo to fire for them, especially from the aerial situations. They have had a change in tactics this season relying more on the aerial situations to pour in the goals and Negredo has been exploiting those brilliantly. Another new boy Stevan Jovetic who is yet to start a game is also alleged to start today.
With City’s defence looking weak and taking into account their jinx at Stoke’s home ground, a draw is most likely today, although a City win won’t surprise many.
Stats courtesy of Yahoosports
Stoke City: Begovic; Huth, Cameron, Shawcross, Pieters; Wilson, Arnautovic, Etherington, Adam; Walters Jones
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kolarov, Nastasic, Lescott; Fernandinho, Toure, Silva; Aguero, Negredo, Navas
Prediction: Stoke City 1-1 Manchester City