Premier League Preview: Stoke City vs. Manchester City

0 Comments
  • Aguero out, Silva in for City
  • Stoke have scored the fewest goals in the PL
  • Five of the last six meetings between the sides at Stoke have ended in draws

Saturday’s match at the Britannia Stadium pegs the league’s most potent attack in Manchester City (30 goals) against the league’s lowest-scoring side in Stoke City (11 goals).

You can watch the match live at 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra.

[ MORE: Premier League standings ]

Manchester City come into the match at the top of the table, but are very shorthanded. Three of City’s most important players have been ruled out, as Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, and Sergio Aguero are all injured. Without Kompany and with Eliaquim Mangala suspended, City will have to form a second-tier partnership at center-back, a position that has given them trouble throughout the season.

However, David Silva is set to make his first Premier League start since October, fully recovered from an ankle injury. Silva played all 90 minutes in City’s midweek League Cup win, and looked to have not lost a step.

Stoke City is coming off of a disappointing loss to Sunderland last weekend, but have been playing some good football as of late. While they have struggled to score, the Potters have gotten results by conceding just six times over their past ten matches in all competitions. Taking on a Manchester City side without some key players, Mark Hughes‘ men will be looking to grind one out at the Britannia.

[ RELATED: Rooney ruled out for Manchester United with “nasty” ankle injury ]

What they’re saying

Stoke boss Mark Hughes on facing the league leaders: “With the quality that we have within the squad then we can cause them problems – I am certain of that. We are more than comfortable against the top teams. I think we have shown that during my time here given the positive results we have picked up.”

City manager Manuel Pellegrini on the injuries: “We don’t depend on one or two players. We have an average of six players injured every game but even so we’re through to the Last 16 of the Champions League and into the semi-final of the Capital One Cup. It doesn’t matter which names start as we will play the same style.”

Prediction

Manchester City is walking wounded, and this is a perfect opportunity for Stoke to steal some points. Mark Hughes’ side has been extremely solid defensively, and will look to exploit a weakened Man City back-line. Stoke City 1-1 Manchester City.