Match Preview: Stoke City v Manchester City
Pep Guardiola’s first Premier League away game managing Manchester City falls at the Bet 365 Stadium in the early kick off this Saturday. Off the back of a convincing 5-0 win against Steaua Bucresti in the champions league qualifying round, you would expect The Citizens to be quietly confident going in to the game.
Kick Off 12:30 Saturday 20 Aug
Last Season Stoke City 2 Manchester City 0 (Arnautovic 7’, 15’)
Odds H 4/1 A 4/6 D 11/4
Mark Hughes will be looking to replicate the efficiency of the 2-0 win last season that saw Shaqiri assist Arnautovic twice in the first half. The ‘Alpine Messi’ had one of his best games in a Stoke shirt to date, as he acted figurehead for a truly electric team performance. Things look to be a great deal tougher this time out, though. Manchester City, who were without Sergio Aguero last time round, have a new manager who took all three points from his opening fixture at home to Sunderland. A penalty converted by Aguero and own-goal by Stadium of Light new-boy Paddy McNair saw Guardiola’s side through game week one with a win.
Stoke, meanwhile, were held to a 1-1 draw at the Riverside Stadium. Jack Butlands absence was evident but an exquisite free kick from Shaqiri was enough to salvage a point for the Potters.
This weekends fixture will probably not be welcomed warmly by either side. Guardiola has his first away tie at a notoriously tough place to take three points, and Hughes has to face a well-travelled, successful manager hungry for silverware.
Players to watch
Manchester City- John Stones
Recently arriving from Everton for a fee just shy of £50 million, the English centre-half has a fair expectation to live up to.
Stoke City- Xherdan Shaqiri
A goal against Middlesbrough means the Swiss has hit the ground running, in a campaign that is widely regarded as make or break for the 24-year-old midfielder.
Written by Tom Hammersley
Trackback from your site.