The Mancunion

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Preview: Manchester City vs Stoke City

Manchester City face Real Madrid on Tuesday, but first they must get past Stoke City at The Etihad on Saturday

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Injuries
• Samir Nasri—couldn’t recover 100 per cent. For the next game he should be OK.
• Vincent Kompany is fit—should be playing as normal again now.
• David Silva is fit—Pellegrini said that Silva should be fine to play two games in a row now, whereas it was uncomfortable earlier in the month. He also said that he tried to sign David Silva when he was at Real Madrid.

Last Time

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Stoke City fans when promoted to the Premier League. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Xherdan Shaqiri was just showing off really in December, when Stoke ran out 2-0 winners in a superb game for the Potters that saw Marco Arnautovic net twice early in the first half. It was a day to forget for City, as Stoke’s energy and pace was too much for them, and City never really looked in the game. Mark Hughes has turned Stoke into a very different team to that of Tony Pulis’ era. Pulis used to play a tough game full of tackles, flailing elbows and long throw-ins, whereas ex-City manager Hughes has added some genuine quality to the team. Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping that City can play better this time; “they had important players in their best moments” he said, as he expressed his optimism this time round. He also said that he hasn’t seen Stoke play like that all season.

Quote of the Presser

“It was exactly the same against Paris Saint Germain. The best thing to prepare for the game that we must play on Tuesday, is to try to win tomorrow against Stoke” – Manuel Pellegrini

Sergio’s 100

On Tuesday against Newcastle United, Sergio Agüero scored his 100th Premier League goal for Manchester City. Not just that—he became the second quickest player in the competition’s history to do so, just behind Alan Shearer. The goal itself was a header miles offside from a Kolarov cross… but lets ignore that for a moment. This goal may prove to be very important in securing fourth place for City, but Agüero has scored some other very important goals in his time at The Etihad. Let’s take a look at his top three goals in a blue shirt.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

3. Swansea – The arrival of Agüero!

Agüero arrived for a hefty price tag, much hype and zero experience in the toughest league in the world, so he had to hit the ground running if he wanted to achieve greatness in his time here. We’ve seen with the likes of Wilfried Bony and Stevan Jovetic, that if you don’t hit the ground running here, you may fall by the wayside as there’s plenty others who will take your spot. But, Agüero came on from the bench to score two goals in a great display of things to come. The second of his goals was a beautiful shot from twenty five yards out that flew into the net.

2. Bayern Munich – EuroStar!

Okay, so I’ve slightly cheated as this is technically three goals… and not in the Premier League, but it would be a crime to miss this out! City were 2-0 down in the Champions League against Bayern Munich, looking at most probably elimination from the competition. Step up Sergio Agüero, as he scored three goals that eventually saw City sail through to the next stage of the competition. This was probably City’s greatest Champions League moment yet – but there’s time for this to be overtaken in the coming weeks! A hat-trick against one of the greatest teams in the world? It’ll have to be one special goal to pip this one to first place….

1. QPR – Martin Tyler’s career defining moment!
Not just Agüero’s greatest goal at City, but the greatest goal the Premier League has ever seen. Although the goal itself looks a bit boring, the pressure Agüero was under to score this goal was immense! On the 93rd minute of the last game of the season, Agüero scored the winner against QPR that saw City finish top of the table on goal difference! Without that goal, who knows where City would be? Sergio Agüero, Roberto Mancini, and thousands of people in The Etihad will never forget the day, and surely even this little Argentinian could never outdo this goal.

Distraction

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

If you don’t already know—then where the bloody hell have you been? City will be facing the might Real Madrid on Tuesday at The Etihad, in their very first Champions League semi-final. For many of the City team, this will be the furthest they have ever featured in the competition, and therefore they could be forgiven for having one eye already on that game. The Blues have to try and get past Stoke City first in the Premier League without being too distracted in the meantime! When asked how he will spur the City team on, Pellegrini stated that they will still want to beat Stoke as “all of them want to play in the Champions League next season” so will want to finish in that top four.

Prediction
Stoke City is always a dodgy affair, as it’s very easy to underestimate them. With City having one eye on the Champions League semi-final, I’d expect the Blues to be less all-guns-blazing and more don’t-get-injured. That being said, I think the quality will be too much eventually.

Manchester City 1-0 Stoke City