Premier League champions Manchester City travel to the Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke City for the two teams' fourth Premier League game of the season.
Where to Watch Live
Kickoff is set for 3pm BST and you can follow the game via free live text commentary on ESPN Soccernet.
Stoke City have managed draws in each of their opening three games this season but will hope the addition of former England striker Michael Owen will give them the extra two points. The fact they are playing the Premier League champions may dampen some of that enthusiasm but surprisingly the Potters have not lost at home to Manchester City in four games, with one win and three draws for them in that time.
The last time the two sides met at the Britannia Stadium it ended in a 1-1 draw, with Peter Crouch scoring one of the goals of the season.
Stoke City boss Tony Pulis will be keen on playing new signings, including Maurice Edu, Charlie Adam, Steven N'Zonzi in this game. However, he did not mention whether Michael Owen, who has 149 Premier League goals, will play.
"He's come back a lot fitter than we thought he would, but it's too early to say whether he can play straight away. We'll try to get him involved if we can - he wants to play - but he's like every player you work with; they want to play and Michael's no different," Pulis told Stoke City's official website.
Manchester City will be able to call upon a number of new signings, providing Roberto Mancini with variety and options to tinker with; these include defenders Maicon and Matija Nastasic and midfielders Javi Garcia and the more attacking Scott Sinclair.
The new faces could help the English champions improve their start to the season, which saw them scrape a 3-2 win in the first game before a shaky 2-2 draw with Liverpool. However, they seem to have got their act together after beating QPR 3-1. Can they maintain that form after the international break?
There is also the little matter of the Champions League to consider and the fact that City's first game in Europe this season is against Real Madrid, at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, the game against Jose Mourinho's men aside, a trip to the Britannia Stadium is usually problematic for City, so expect Mancini to name a strong side.
City captain Vincent Kompany spoke on his side's start to the season and while he is pleased with the start, realises the need to show improvement in order to successfully retain the title.
"We generally give few chances away, but when we have so far in the opening weeks, we've been unlucky because teams have punished us. I think this season will be a lot more competitive than last year - just look at the talent that has come into the Premier League this season. I don't think any sides around us are weaker - they have all strengthened so getting victories at this stage is the most important thing," Kompany told City's official website.
Team News and Tactics
Midfielder Jamie Ness will be missing following a groin injury sustained during the Potters' League Cup clash against Swindon Town. Winger Matthew Etherington and defender Andy Wilkinson are also doubtful for this game as they are suffering from a hamstring injury and a concussion respectively. However, the good news for the Potters is striker Mamady Sidibe may make a comeback after recovering from a groin injury. Apart from that Pulis has a full squad at his disposal.
The Potters are expected to field a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Geoff Cameron and Marc Wilson at the back. Dean Whitehead, Glenn Whelan, Charlie Adam and Michael Kightly in the middle and Jonathan Walters supporting Peter Crouch up front, if Owen does not start.
City, on the other hand, have quite a few injury concerns including Jack Rodwell and Pablo Zabaleta. The new signing from Everton is out with a knee injury, while Zabaleta's hamstring will keep him from playing. Italian striker Mario Balotelli has returned from eye surgery and could play some part in this game as part of his build-up to the Real Madrid clash. However, Zabaleta's Argentinean compatriot, Sergio Agüero, will almost certainly not play. The former Atletico Madrid forward has a knee injury and while he is back in light training, Mancini will not risk him so early in the season. On a more positive note, Gareth Barry, who was suffering from a lower abdomen muscle tear, may make a comeback in this game. The manager also has options like Javi Garcia and Maicon.
Stoke City (4-4-1-1): Begovic; Huth, Shawcross, Cameron, Wilson; Whitehead, Whelan, Adam, Kightly; Walters; Crouch
Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Yaya Toure, Garcia; Nasri, Silva; Balotelli; Tevez
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Australia Bids Adieu to Adam Spencer's Mornings on ABC's "702 Breakfast" Show [PHOTOS]
- Top 10 Hottest Celebrities with Shocking Weight Loss (And Find Out Their Secrets!) [PHOTOS]
- Mars Curiosity Rover Photos: UFO Hunter Spots Strange 'Ruins,' 'Missile' [PHOTOS, VIDEO]
- Miranda Kerr Exposes Breasts to Crew, Wardrobe Malfunction 'Deliberate Accident?' [PHOTOS]