Preview: Manchester City vs. Stoke City

This Wednesday we travel to the Etihad Stadium to face off against Manchester City. The match will begin at 8pm GMT.

Team News:

Manchester City: Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan are still out. Vincent Kompany is doubtful for the game, his fitness will be assessed and a decision made just before the squad lists are submitted.

Stoke City: Xherdan Shaqiri is available for selection again, following five games where he’s been sidelined due to a calf injury. Bruno Martins Indi & Marko Arnautovic are dounbtful due to injuries picked up the last weekend’s clash against Middlesbrough. Wilfred Bony is also out due to being unable to play against his parent club.

Manager Talk:

Pep Guardiola:

“It’s a pity that the distance between Chelsea [and Manchester City] is so big, but that’s true. We started the season with 10 games winning, but our game was not like today.

“I feel we are playing quite well and that’s why we are getting results. But now, of course, we are in a position when you arrive in March and April, every game if you win, you stay; if you lose, you are out.”

Mark Hughes:

“I’m sure we can be an irritant and cause Man City and Chelsea problems in the next two games.

“I’ve always backed my teams to go there and have a go because I feel we’ve got good talent that can test any team in the Premier League.”

When questioned about the current “rift” between Giannelli Imbula he said, “That hasn’t happened for him as well as we would have hoped, and at the weekend it was just a case that we needed to cover other eventualities and he missed out, but that’s not to say that he won’t be involved on Wednesday.”

Match Facts:

* Manchester City have won three of the last four meetings between the two sides by scoring exactly four goals.

* Stoke has lost the previous seven games at the Etihad, with a total score of 19-0.

* Leroy Sane has scored six goals in his last eight shots on target

* Although the Citizens won the reverse fixture 4-1, they haven’t done the double over Stoke since both sides were together in the third-tier, back in 1998-99.

* A home win for Manchester City will be their 200th in the competition, becoming the 8th team to do so since the PL began.

* None of Stokes previous nine wins this season has been against a team placed 11th or higher.

* The Potters could remain unbeaten in top-flight away fixtures against both Manchester clubs in the same season for the first time since 1980-81

* Manchester City has taken an average 2.08 points per home game this season, whereas Stoke has an average of 0.92 points per away game.

By Benito Fisher

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