English Premier League leaders Manchester City are visiting the Bet365 Stadium today to take on ‘unpredictable’ Stoke City which they demolished 7-2 in first leg.
Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola has asserted his cautiousness going into the Monday night clash, where he argues that they cannot leave anything to chance. Guardiola views Stoke City as very unpredictable team that one cannot certainly think of beating till the final whistle is blown
While speaking to the British press ahead of the midnight showdown, Guardiola lamented the jinx that have befallen them on midnight fixtures making them to drop points in the current season.
"I don't like to play on Monday because the weekend everybody is involved and when the weekend is over, they are like the weekend is over, there are no more games, but we have to play. I have bad experiences playing games on Mondays."
His counterpart Paul Lambert believes that beating City calls for a rethink in how a team approaches the game, and that is what he is committed to achieving.
"If we try to play football the same way they do then we will be beat - that is the reality. We have to have an idea of another way to try to beat them," he said.
Aguero and Diouf out, Sterling and Fernandinho doubts
Manchester City have been stung by an injury that has hit their star striker Sergio Aguero limiting options upfront. Guardiola may therefore be forced Gabriel Jesus after the Brazilian recovered from an injury that kept him on the sidelines for months.
According to BBC Sport Aguero confirmed the injury on his twitter page. He twitted:
"During yesterday's training I had a discomfort on my left knee," Aguero said on Twitter. "Now it's time for a full recovery!"
Other stars sucjh Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling have started training with the squad but they may be brought as substitutes in this game.
The same fate has also befallen the Potters who are sweating over Mame Diouf’s injury. The Senegalese striker has been ruled out of today’s fixture as a result.
Manchester City Probable squad: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva; Bernado, Jesus, Sane
Stoke City Probable lineup: Butland; Bauer, Zouma, Martins Indi, Stafylidis; Cameron; Shaqiri, Allen, Ndiaye, Choupo-Moting; Crouch
Prediction: Manchester City demolished Stoke City 7-2 in the first leg fixture at Etihan Stadium. However such as score would be unrealistic this time. The last time the Blues did the double over the Potters was in 2013. Nonetheless, Manchester City have the upper hand to win this game given their good form. Potters will be determined to get better result this time.
Verdict: It is either a win for Manchester City or draw(2 or X). This is a game that will give more than two goals.