Manchester City | VMC Cup Preview: The Blues v The Potters
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Manchester CITY vs. Stoke City

The City of Manchester Stadium

Saturday 13th February 2010

17h15 GMT

VMC Cup Preview: The Blues v The Potters

A crucial week in City's season begins with the first part of the Stoke League and FA Cup double header. Expect fireworks...

Vital Quotes:

Roberto Mancini:

"Now I know all the players here very well, I know their qualities in my mind. I have to decide before a game if it is better for the team to play 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, whether to play Stevie or Shaun or somebody else. If I decide, then he plays. It's easy! But if we want to become an important squad we must work harder and we must BECOME a squad. One player or manager is not important, it is the club that is important, the squad that is important."

Tony Pulis:

'I am looking to pick a positive team and go there to have a right go..The game on Saturday is an important one for us and the 5,000 or 6,000 supporters who will make the trip. They will want to see the team have a go and we'll want to give it a go. If you can catch it right it is a knockout competition and a one-off game.'

Emmanuel Adebayor:

'If Carlos can score 30 goals and I only score a few, I'll be more than happy. Because if Carlos and his goals help us to win things, I'll be very happy for us all. We still have a chance to be at Wembley in the FA Cup and are in the running for fourth place in the Premier League. We will keep going and enjoy ourselves. We want to keep that dream.'

VMC City Video Link: Mancini Stoke Press Conference

Manchester CITY Team News:

Craig Bellamy will be rested again following his successful meeting with a knee specialist in London. The speedy striker is likely to be further held back for the visit of Liverpool next weekend.

Worryingly, Vincent Kompany's groin injury has persisted and he is a doubt. Kolo Toure is fit despite being substituted during the win over Bolton.

Joleon Lescott, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Martin Pterov and Nedum Onuoha are all pushing for a start.

OUT: Santa Cruz, Johnson, Richards.
CUP TIED: Adam Johnson.

Player to watch: Patrick Vieira

For the second game running, I'm singling out the intriguing spectacle of World Cup winner Vieira in a City shirt for special attention.

It's typical of the man that he pushed himself through 95 minutes against uncompromising Bolton after a lengthy lay off and his through ball to set up Adebayor's crucial goal showed that he has lost none of his vision.

His role and the added dimension of his height will be critical against resurgent Stoke.

Stoke City Team News:

Pulis has a selection headache up front with Tuncay and Ricardo Fuller both in contention to lead the line.

The Potters (from): Sorensen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Wilkinson, Amdy Faye, Higginbotham, Collins, Lawrence, Sidibe, Whitehead, Delap, Diao, Kitson, Beattie, Etherington, Fuller, Tuncay, Pugh, Whelan, Simonsen, Begovic.

Player to watch: Matthew Etherington

Stoke's Number 26 is in great form and will need to be stifled for City to control this encounter.

The winger's contract extension talks have stalled but his form certainly hasn't. Like City's Adam Johnson who is cup tied for this one, an outside chance of making Fabio Capello's World Cup squad.

Match Facts & Stats

The Potters are unbeaten this year in 7 games across all competitions.

If City beat Stoke, it will seal The Citizen's 3rd FA Cup Quarter Final in 5 years. The Potters have not reached that stage for 38 years.

Current City Striking Records: Carlos Tevez has scored 19 goals in 27 City starts. Emmanuel Adebayor has scored 9 goals in 18 City starts.

Ade is The Blues form player with 3 goals in his last 3 games.

City have not lost at Eastlands all season and have won their last 8 games at home.

Stoke have not won a game at Maine Road or Eastlands since 1997.

Follow the cup action Live in the VMC Match Day Forum:
MATCHDAY THREAD: Man City vs Stoke City in the FA Cup - Sat Feb 13 - KO: 17:15 UK Time

VMC and Stoke Fans Forum Link Up:
Exclusive VMC 7 Deadly Sins Q&A: Stoke Fans Forum

Ref Watch:

Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear): It`s Clattenburg's third game in charge of City and 4th in charge of Stoke this season. He reffed the Arsenal 'FourTwogate' and the 3-3 at Bolton . A busy ref who tends to keep his reds pocketed. It's his second FA Cup tie of the season.Current season record: Games:29, Yellow Cards:78 Red Cards:4

Match Prediction:

I think this could be a humdinger. Tony Pulis and Man City will be forever associated since City came back from the third tier dead against his Gillingham side a decade ago. You always get the feeling he raises his baseball capped game when he's up against The Blues. He's sure to send out Stoke with a mission to get right in amongst City on Saturday and certain key City players must give no quarter. Much will depend upon Toure, Kompany, Vieira, Barry and Adebayor, especially at set pieces to hold the spine of the City team together. It's going to be a close encounter, yet I expect City to edge a thriller. Johnny On The Spot: CITY 3 Stoke 2

Next Fixtures:

A: Stoke City, Tue 16 Feb 19h45 GMT
H: Liverpool, Sat 21 Feb 15h00 GMT
A: Chelsea, Sat 27Feb 12h45 GMT

The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 12 2010

Time: 10:36AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
We've already beat them once this season but that doesn't mean ***** now, it's what happens on Saturday what counts and they will be up for it, but i think we should win and hopefully get in the next round, i also noticed that we have the dippers and Chelskum in our next two prem games and think if we work hard we will beat Liverpool and I've heard this morning that Cole is out for 4 months with a broken ankle so that's a bonus plus will Terry play or will he still be in Dubai trying to patch up his sham of a marriage, all we need now is for Drogba and anelka to get injured or a straight red card to help us a little bit more LOL
Report Abuse
12/02/2010 11:12:00
Link to Mancio's Stoke Press Conference now added in Match Preview quotes section. Latest Team News to follow....
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
12/02/2010 14:00:00
I like the quote from Adebayor. I'm glad that he's more focused on winning than his own personal stats. Too many times you see players trying to pad their own stats for awards or bigger contracts. We've already beaten them at home once, but as we've seen so many times before in the Cup, like Barnsley vs both Liverpool and Chelsea, and Leeds this season, along with Nottingham Forest against us last season, anything can happen. We also have a huge game against Stoke on Wednesday, so this can be a stepping stone to Wembley.
Report Abuse
12/02/2010 15:23:00
Another chance for cup success. Lets hope we move a step closer to achieving it this time
Once a Blue
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13/02/2010 04:12:00

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