Roberto Mancini welcomes a hard to break down Potters side to the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: “Stoke are always difficult to beat. They are strong, tall and they fight for every ball.”
Team news: City are without Samir Nasri after deciding not to appeal against his sending-off at Norwich City. Striker Mario Balotelli (virus) is not yet ready to return while full-backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Maicon (knee) also remain on the sidelines. Defender Micah Richards (knee) and midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) are still long-term casualties.
Man City (from): Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Lescott, K Toure, Clichy, Rekik, Nasri, Silva, Milner,
Sinclair, Y Toure, Barry, Garcia, Tevez, Aguero, Dzeko, Razak.
Team news: Midfielder Steven Nzonzi will be available after the club appealed against the red card he received in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Southampton. Captain Ryan Shawcross and full-back Geoff Cameron are both likely to return after serving one-match bans, while defenders Robert Huth and Andy Wilkinson should also play despite a clash of heads on Saturday that forced Wilkinson off with concussion. Manager Tony Pulis may choose to freshen things up and could recall midfielder Charlie Adam to the starting line-up for the first time since the death of his father earlier this month.
Stoke (from): Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Cameron, Huth, Upson, Wilkinson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Kightly, Etherington, Jones, Sorensen, Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome, Adam, Palacios, Owen.
Referee: M Oliver; Assistants: P Kirkup, J Flynn; Fourth official: J Moss
SOURCE: Official Premier League
Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Milner, Garcia, Yaya Toure, Silva
Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Wilkinson
Kightly, Walters, Etherington
Manchester City have beaten Stoke in all four previous Premier League meetings at home, scoring a combined 11 goals without reply.
Robert Mancini began his reign as Manchester City manager with a 2-0 home win over Stoke on Boxing Day 2009.
Stoke last won at City in October 1997; their only victory in 12 subsequent league meetings between the sides came at home in January 2009 when they triumphed 1-0 despite playing over half the match with 10 men after Rory Delap was sent off.
They have won all four of their previous New Year’s Day Premier League fixtures at home.
City have scored 18 goals fewer after 20 games than at the equivalent stage last season. They are also six points worse off in the current campaign.
Roberto Mancini’s side have recovered 15 points from losing positions – only Manchester United (24) and Everton (17) have fared better.
The defending league champions are yet to lose a game after opening the scoring (W9, D1).
Stoke are unbeaten in their last 10 league games (W5, D5). The only team to have gone on a longer unbeaten run at any point in the Premier League this season are Manchester City (15).
The Potters have lost just three league matches this season, a record bettered only by Manchester City and Everton (two).
However, they have lost all 10 of their Premier League trips to Manchester since promotion in 2008, scoring just three goals.
Kenwyne Jones has scored in three of his last four appearances, having previously gone 27 league games without a goal.
Jon Walters has started each of Stoke’s last 73 league games, the longest current run of any outfield player in the league.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
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