PREVIEW: City vs Stoke

Tickets: Sold out

Last Season: 3-0

Referee: M Oliver; Assistants: P Kirkup, J Flynn; Fourth official: J Moss

Team News:

CITY – Samir Nasri starts his ban so misses the match through suspension,  while Mario Balotelli’s absence through illness continues. Maicon and Aleksandar Kolarov are out with knee problems. Long-term absentees Micah Richards and Jack Rodwell are still out.

City (from): Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Lescott, K Toure, Clichy, Rekik, Nasri, Silva, Milner, Sinclair, Y Toure, Barry, Garcia, Tevez, Aguero, Dzeko, Razak.

STOKE – Stoke’s successful appeal  against Steven Nzonzi’s red card means he is available, with Captain Ryan Shawcross and full-back Geoff Cameron also set to return after 1 match bans. Charlie Adam may be recalled after missing recent matches due to the death of his father.

Stoke (from): Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Cameron, Huth, Upson, Wilkinson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Kightly, Etherington, Jones, Sorensen, Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome, Adam, Palacios, Owen.

Stats:

Manchester City have beaten Stoke in all four previous Premier League meetings at home, scoring a combined 11 goals without reply (3-0, 2-0, 3-0, 3-0).

December was City’s highest goalscoring month in 2012, seeing 11 Premier League goals scored, despite a blank v Sunderland.

City’s substitutes scored 11 goals in 2012, more than any other side’s replacements.

Stoke are unbeaten in their last 10 league games (W5, D5). The only team to have gone on a longer unbeaten run at any point in the Premier League this season are Manchester City (15).

The Potters have lost just three league matches this season, a record bettered only by Manchester City and Everton (two).

However, they have lost all 10 of their Premier League trips to Manchester since promotion in 2008, scoring just three goals.

Stats courtesy of BBC Football & Opta City

Press Conference:

Roberto Mancini was back in the press room ahead of the Stoke game after David Platt had taken over ahead of City’s win at Carrow Road. Mancini was asked whether he would look to strengthen in January and he said:

Probably. We might have a problem. We lose three [to the African Nations Cup] and I don’t think Micah Richards will play until the end of February. Jack [Rodwell] – we don’t know. Maybe [Aleksandar] Kolarov can recover in two weeks. We will see.

Fixtures:

All matches kick-off at 3pm unless otherwise stated

West Brom vs Fulham (12.45)

Manchester City vs Stoke

Swansea vs Aston Villa

Tottenham vs Reading

West Ham vs Norwich

Wigan vs Manchester United

Southampton vs Arsenal

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