Manchester City Vs Stoke City, Tue 17 May 2011

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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini could be tempted to freshen up his side for the re-arranged Barclays Premier League game with Stoke.

Edin Dzeko, James Milner and Adam Johnson are all pushing for places in the starting line-up against opponents they defeated 1-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Kolo Toure and Jerome Boateng are again ruled out of the home fixture through suspension and a knee injury respectively.

First-team coach David Platt wants to build on their achievement of lifting the FA Cup.

City will face the Potters just over 72 hours after they beat their rivals 1-0 at Wembley.

Victory for City would see them overtake Arsenal and move into third place - a scenario that, should City hold on to the position, would rule out pre-qualifying for the Champions League.

The Gunners are suddenly looking over their shoulder after they suffered a home defeat to Aston Villa yesterday and Platt said: "We've got two games to go and can take six points. If we do that we have done our job.

"We could actually get third place from Arsenal. We've got to continue to win games and continue to win trophies.

"We're delighted at this moment and quite rightly so. We should enjoy it but only until around Tuesday morning.

"We've made a big step up as regards the players that have come in, they've bedded themselves in, and as the season's gone on we've become more assured as a team."


Stoke manager Tony Pulis must decide whether to risk key players.

Pulis gambled on the fitness of Matthew Etherington (hamstring) and Robert Huth (knee) in Saturday's defeat at Wembley, while Jermaine Pennant completed the 90 minutes despite twisting his ankle in first-half stoppage-time.

Asmir Begovic is likely to reclaim his place in goal for the Barclays Premier League clash at Eastlands, while Ricardo Fuller, Danny Higginbotham and Mamady Sidibe remain sidelined.

Captain Ryan Shawcross has revenge on his mind

Shawcross was forced to climb the 107 steps to Wembley's Royal Box to collect a runners-up medal on Saturday before watching opposite number Carlos Tevez hoist aloft the famous old trophy.

"We've got two massive games and hopefully we can avenge the performance against City on Tuesday," Shawcross said.

"It's going to be difficult but hopefully we can."

Saturday's defeat robbed Shawcross of the honour of being the first Stoke captain to lift the FA Cup, although he still made history by being the first man to lead them out in the final.

And, at 23, there is plenty of time for him to go one step further and end the Potters' 148-year quest for the trophy.

He added: "I want to be in more cup finals and win trophies.

"This is a massive incentive. But I definitely want to play in more big occasions.

"We will learn from this and grow as a team. We have had a great season but our performance was disappointing. We just never turned up.

"We want to finish our season with six points from the two games.

"There will always be regrets and 'if onlys' but there's always next season to put things right."

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