Stoke City v Manchester City

Stoke picked up a good point at Newcastle on Sunday but that came at a cost as two more names were added to the growing injury list.

Stephen Ireland (hamstring) and Marc Wilson (groin) are out of this clash with the Champions.

Mark Hughes told the club’s website: “Stephen has unfortunately pulled his hamstring so he is going to be out for a couple of weeks, which is a disappointment.

“It is a real shame because he has come into the team with Bojan out injured and has done really well for us.”

Marko Arnautovic (ankle) is rated 50/50 for this clash: “He has been struggling a little bit with his ankle, and felt it on training at the end of last week. It is stemming from a tackle he received from Gareth Barry on Boxing Day” Hughes added.

While the Potters are also without captain Ryan Shawcross (back), Erik Pieters (hernia) and long-term absentees include Bojan and Peter Odemwingie (both knee).

Despite that Stoke are looking to do the double over Manchester City, which would be the first time since the 1980/81 season when the Potters triumphed 2-1 in both games.

Mame Diouf 70-yard run and finish gave the Potters all three points in August and if Stoke repeat that feat they could climb to ninth in the league.

Diouf celebrating at Eastlands. Action Images

Diouf celebrating at Eastlands. Action Images

Manchester City are without African Cup of Nations winning duo Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony.

Other than that the Citizens will be at full strength and looking to regain moment after stuttering in recent weeks.

Manuel Pellegrini told his press conference: “The whole squad is fit. We are going to go and try to win three points as we always do away from home.

“They are a very good team. Especially playing at the Britannia – last season we just won 1-0 at home and drew away.”

Pellegrini will be hoping to see a Man City side win at the Britannia for the first time in the Premier League era, in the previous six meeting there have been five draws and one win for Stoke.

The referee is Lee Mason, who oversaw Stoke’s away victories against tonight’s opposition Man City and Everton. He also was in charge of Stoke’s Capital One Cup defeat against Southampton. The Man City v Stoke match was the only time he has refereed the Champions this season.

He has handed out 45 yellow cards and 4 reds in the league. He sent off Peter Crouch in the clash with Southampton.

Mason will be assisted by Lee Betts and Andy Halliday. The latter was also at the Etihad when Stoke left with all three points.


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