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Preview: Stoke v. Man City: Sixth Time the Charm?

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Remember this? How about this? It's very likely that both Peter Crouch and Michael Owen, two men who have deigned themselves to provide us with memories that are more like migraines, will both be playing forward tomorrow. Other things to keep in mind as we play in a city where football is still seen as rugby's ugly cousin:

  • Not Very Gracious Hosting: Five times City has gone to the Brittania and five times, they've walked away without a win. I don't know what's worse for us--Anfield or Brittania but I'm inclined to say the latter.
  • Who's in? Who's out? According to Yahoo, Balotelli is out. According to Sky Sports, he's in. Rodwell is definitely out with a knee problem and so is Zabaleta (hamstring). We might see Richards and Barry for the first time and perhaps even Sergio Aguero which would be unbelievably cool for yours truly.
  • Stoke No Like the Shooting: I read that Stoke has only seven shots on goal this season through three league games. Is that true? I've been trying to confirm this but for the life of me I can't find a good site for stats. I'm tempted to just let shuddertothink do the work. Which brings us to the mini-editorial.
  • Mini-Editorial from SB:Trying to find highlights for EPL matches is an excruciating experience. This should not be, people. I'm in America on the west coast and it is next to impossible to find highlights. I realize the EPL is popular but a good way to get the American market fired up about the league is to, you know, promote the league. I can find NFL, NBA, MLB and many, many other sports but good luck finding EPL highlights (and it's not just EPL that's the problem here). I don't get it or I'm not looking in the right place. Not every website can be MCFC.
  • So Many Games, So Little Time: Maicon, Garcia and Nastasic might play and the former two could start, according to Sky Sports. Personally, I'm all for it. We've got Real Madrid on Tuesday and if memory serves from checking the schedule we're playing two games every six or seven days for the next month or so. I got tired just looking at it.
  • Finally... based on nothing but my own observations, I think Mancini gets along with some coaches and not so well with others. He genuinely likes SAF and the feeling is mutual though on the pitch they want to kill each other. He barely talks to Wenger, had no room at all for Dalglish, has enormous respect for Brendan Rogers and Roberto Martinez and all of this leads up to an observation: I believe Tony Pulis and Roberto Mancini are not friends. After the Crouch-Oh-My-God-Did-He-Just-Do-That match, Mancini (in my opinion) strongly hinted that Stoke was dirty. Pulis retorted with his own implication that his team likes to get physical and that if some teams want to whine, feel free. Not a lot of love lost between the two, in my opinion.
  • PREDICTION: City 2-1 which is more of a wish, really. Truth be told, I won't be surprised at all if Stoke hands us our backside, based on the defense we've been playing of late.