September 14, 2013 3:00 PM BST
Britannia Stadium — Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: M. Clattenburg
Manchester City kick off after the International break with a tough fixture away to Stoke City, managed by former Blues manager Mark Hughes. Manuel Pellegrini hasn’t had an easy to start to life in Manchester. City started the season by putting Newcastle to the sword with a convincing 4-0 win, but their defensive vulnerability was exposed away to Cardiff City where a Frazier Campbell double helped sink City to a 3-2 defeat. City bounced back with a 2-0 home win against Hull City, but they will be disappointed with only 6 points when it should have been 9. Meanwhile Mark Hughes has enjoyed a great start to life at the Britannia as they find themselves level on points with City following 2 wins and a loss.
It will be a tightly fought affair, with Stoke playing a new brand of football which has proved extremely successful in their first 3 games of the season. Last time out against West Ham, Stoke City played the Hammers off the park with their passing football, a clear sign of Stoke’s intentions under Hughes. This fixture last season ended 1-1, with Javi Garcia cancelling out a superb volley by Peter Crouch.
City have so far failed to win at Stoke, suffering 1 lose and 4 draws, all of which ended 1-1. And they can expect this visit to be one of the hardest so far, as Pellegrini’s defensive woes worsen following the injury sustained by new arrival Martin Demichelis. City skipper Vincent Kompany is also likely to miss out with a groin injury, alongside Micah Richards who is still not fully fit following a hamstring injury. Spanish playmaker David Silva is a doubt however after suffering a slight hamstring injury while at a training camp with Spain, but will be assessed on Friday.
Alvaro Negredo is set to make his first start from City, after impressing in his last two games by scoring two goals from the substitute bench. The Spaniard also netted in Spain’s win against Finland in mid-week.
Stoke however aren’t without their injury concerns, with Charlie Adam doubtful after suffering a back injury with the Scotland national team. However Stephen Ireland could make an appearance against his former team after completing his loan move from Villa to Stoke. Stoke’s new striker Marko Arnautovic could be in line to start on his debut after making a £2.6m switch from Werder Bremen. Glen Whelan and Kenwyn Jones could recover in time from knocks suffered to feature.
- The Last 4 Fixtures at the Britannia between these two sided have ended in a 1-1 draw
- In the last 4 years they have both met twice in the FA Cup here, with each side winning one game
- Manchester City are looking for their first ever Premier League win at the Britannia
- Mark Hughes has lost 3 of the last 4 meetings he has faced Manchester City since leaving in December 2009
Stoke (Possible, 4-4-1-1): Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters; Arnautovic, N’Zonzi, Ireland, Etherington; Walters; Jones.
Manchester City (Possible, 4-4-2): Hart; Zabaleta, Nastasic, Lescott, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Touré, Milner; Nasri, Negredo, Agüero.