Stoke v Manchester City - Match preview and team news
Saturday 15 September 2012
Champions Manchester City travel to the Britannia for a starkly contrasting fixture to the one they have in three days time, Real Madrid at the Bernabeu to open their Champions League challenge. Roberto Mancini will know he is in for a tough afternoon in the Potteries, having failed to win in any of his previous visits to Stoke as Manchester City manager.
Mancini might be able to call upon star striker Sergio Aguero after the Argentina striker made a quick-fire recovery from the knee injury that has sidelined him since his side’s opening game victory over Southampton. Mancini could also give debuts to deadline-day signings Maicon, Matija Nastasic, Javi Garcia and Scott Sinclair as City attempt to preserve their unbeaten start to the season.
Stoke and their manager Tony Pulis also had a busy transfer deadline day and he could give a debut to Steven N’Zonzi in midfield as a partner to Charlie Adam, who could make his first start and home debut for the club having featured in Stoke’s last match at Wigan.
Stoke could also hand a debut to Michael Owen, who completed his free transfer to the Britannia last week. The ex-England international has declared himself fit and could make his first Premier League appearance in 10 months against the side who he famously scored a last minute winner against for Manchester United in the 2009-10 season.
Stoke have made a steady rather than spectacular start to the season so far, with three consecutive draws and will be looking to preserve their excellent home record at the Britannia, where the top six all failed to win last season.