Manchester City v Stoke City: Match Preview

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Manchester City v Stoke City
Barclays Premier League
Etihad Stadium
Wednesday, December 21st; 19:45

Team News

Gael Clichy serves the second match of his suspension following his dismissal against Chelsea and misses out, while striker Edin Dzeko and full-back Aleksander Kolarov are both doubtful.

Ryan Shawcross will also miss the game through suspension after picking up a fifth yellow card against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Andy Wilkinson and Glenn Whelan are both struggling with respective calf and back problems.

Mancini expecting strong Stoke

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is expecting a stern test against Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

City have netted 50 league goals in 16 games this season, and face a Stoke side with the reputation of taking no prisoners.

The match is a repeat of last season's FA Cup final, when Yaya Toure's goal separated the two sides in a tight encounter.

"We should play football very well, but against Stoke it is always very difficult," Mancini said.

"They are a very difficult team. It will be a tough game.

"Also we play every three days, so we must play a good game."

One man who didn't feature in that May final was Peter Crouch, a summer signing from Tottenham Hotspur.

The England international has scored six goals in 18 appearances, his most recent strike coming against Wolves, his 99th Premier League goal.

Manager Tony Pulis is backing Crouch to reach the milestone in no time.

"Crouchy has been fantastic for us in the short time he's been at Stoke," said Pulis. This will be a tremendous achievement for him if and when he gets there.

"Let's hope it's sooner rather than later, but whenever that goal comes, I think it's something we should also be proud of here at Stoke City."

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