After a 2-0 win against Sunderland last weekend, Manchester City will continue their Premier League campaign with a home fixture against Stoke City.
City are looking to cement their spot in the top four, as they are pulling away from Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United thanks to their poor recent results. Although it is a couple of months until the season ends, now is a great time to gain points before the toughest three-game stretch of the season.
City play Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea after this match against Stoke. However, the Citizens need to focus on beating the Potters before they can prepare for the tough road ahead.
Stoke are coming off of a 2-0 win against a struggling Middlesbrough side, and their star players Jack Butland and Xherdan Shaqiri have recently returned to training after recovering from injury. Although they're not quite ready to play against City, their return will bring much needed talent to the team.
Here’s a closer look at a few players who could make an impact on this game.
After an impressive performance for Wales in the European Championships, Joe Allen arrived from Liverpool last summer and has led Stoke in Premier League goals this season, with six.
The Welsh midfielder has gone from a bench warmer at Anfield to a solid midfielder for Stoke, and Mark Hughes relies on him to provide goals and chances for his teammates. Allen needs to perform to give Stoke a chance at three points.
During his recent stretch as the starting goalkeeper, Caballero has maintained a solid record of clean sheets in the Premier League. The Sky Blues only kept two clean sheets during the first half of the season with Claudio Bravo in goal, but Willy has already left the pitch without conceding three times in just four league starts in 2017.
Stoke only scores 1.2 goals per game, and the recently invigorated City defense might just limit them to less than their average. After a strong performance against Sunderland, look for Caballero to make some more saves for City again.
While the Austrian has always been extremely inconsistent throughout his career and as Stoke, he's playing well at the right time. Arnautovic scored twice against Boro on Saturday, and his first goal was particularly impressive. He took an over-the-top through ball down with a fantastic touch, and he split two defenders plus the keeper before finding the net.
Arnautovic has five goals this season and they came in only three matches, meaning he can't find the target in too many games, but when he catches fire, look out.
Kevin De Bruyne
After sitting on the bench to rest against Sunderland, De Bruyne came on as a substitute late in the match and had a very solid ten minutes, showing just why he's one of the best players in the league.
The Belgian midfielder has flourished in his role deep in the midfield, and although it may not show on the stat sheet, De Bruyne leads City more than ever. Look for him to continue leading City past Stoke on Wednesday night.