Preview: Manchester City v. Stoke City

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  • City aiming for fifth-straight win
  • Stoke haven’t beaten any of top six this season
  • Aguero has 23 goals this season

Manchester City host Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a game which was pushed forward from this weekend due to Man City’s involvement in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Pep Guardiola‘s side are on a fine run of forming, winning four-straight games in the Premier League heading into this clash as they look to cut Chelsea’s lead atop the PL to eight points and also move into second place with a win.

Stoke beat Middlesbrough 2-0 last time out to cement their spot in the top 10 of the table and Mark Hughes will be hoping to cause an upset as he heads back to one of his former clubs.

In team news City could have captain Vincent Kompany back in the starting lineup but both Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus are long-term absentees. For Stoke, they are sweating on the fitness of Marko Arnautovic, Bruno Martins Indi and Glen Johnson but Xherdan Shaqiri is fit to play some part.

What they’re saying

Guardiola on his transfer plans and expensive English players: “I would like to have English players, believe me, but they are so expensive. I would like to play with English players. When I was in Barcelona I liked to play with locals because they feel something special, but sometimes it is not possible.”

Hughes on Guardiola settling into life in England: “They had a great start, and maybe everybody thought that it was going to be plain sailing for Guardiola and he was making it look easy. But I think everybody in the game felt that maybe there were more challenges round the corner. You can’t underestimate anybody here. I’m not saying he has, but he’s probably been surprised by the challenge that every team presents, no matter where they are in the league.”

Prediction

City will have too much to overpower a banged up Stoke defense. Expect Guardiola’s boys to keep the pressure up on Chelsea. 3-1.