City meet Stoke for the second time in four days as the blues travel to The Britannia Stadium in search of three points that will move them into fourth and three points clear of Liverpool.
The game is one of City’s two games in hand with the other being at home to Everton, which was postponed in the opening week of the season. A draw will be enough o sit in fourth place but if they win this game and beat Liverpool at Eastlands on Saturday, it will mean a six point cushion between us and the Mersey giants.
Hopefully, City will be more aware or Rory Delap this time around. It was his long throw into the area that allowed Ricardo Fuller to steal an equaliser to take Saturday’s FA Cup tie to a replay next week. If the blues are to take the three points, they will need to defend better against Delap and Fuller on Tuesday.
For Stoke, it will mean moving above Blackburn in the table and ten points above the relegation zone, which should really leave them safe for a third season in the top flight. In their last home game, Blackburn were thumped 3-0 and Stoke have won six of their twelve games at home this season.
City have some serious worries ahead of the game at the Britannia Stadium. Carlos Tevez is definitely out after being granted leave to return to Argentina on family matters, while Vincent Kompany (groin) and Craig Bellamy (knee) also miss out.
Shaun Wright-Phillips, Martin Petrov and Stephen Ireland also took knocks during the FA Cup game and are rated as doubtful at best. Adam Johnson returns to the team after being cup-tied on Saturday.
Stoke’s Matthew Etherington suffered suspected medial ligament damage at Eastlands and is definitely out while Liam Lawrence and Andy Wilkinson are expected to be fit for the game.
Stoke City (from): Sorensen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Wilkinson, Amdy Faye, Higginbotham, Collins, Lawrence, Sidibe, Whitehead, Delap, Diao, Kitson, Beattie, Fuller, Tuncay, Pugh, Whelan, Simonsen, Begovic.
Manchester City (from): Given, Taylor, Richards, Zabaleta, Onuoha, Toure, Lescott, Boyata, Garrido, Sylvinho, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Vieira, Barry, De Jong, Petrov, Ibrahim, Adebayor.
League Form (Last Five)
Danger Man: Ricardo Fuller
As the blues found out, Fuller is always capable of grabbing a goal, particularly from a Delap throw.
Over The Blue Moon Prediction: Stoke 1-2 City
Stoke is always a difficult place to visit but the blues should do enough to secure the three points.
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