The Opposition: Manchester City

Stoke Man City

There has been plenty of money thrown at Manchester City in recent years and another big chunk was wafted under the nose of the best manager in the world recently.

Pep Guardiola replaces Manuel Pellegrini in the hotseat and he seems like the perfect man to get the most out of the superstars he has at his disposal.

Having had great success at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola’s main task will be to win the third Champions League of his managerial career.

But there will also be great pressure on him to succeed in the league. Man City wilted away at the back end of last season, ultimately getting a Champions League spot via goal difference.

They must improve and have already added to their squad, with more to follow.

On their day Manchester City can beat anyone in the world, they just need to forget their own hype and stay a bit grounded at times. Guardiola is arguably the best coach to ensure that mentality for the upcoming campaign.

Memorable match: Stoke 1-0 Man City. 31 January 2009. Stoke were up against it before kick-off as the Manchester Millionaires rolled into town, and Rory Delap’s red card on the half hour mark made things virtually impossible. But, buoyed by a vocal crowd, Stoke’s 10 men did the unthinkable. Recent signings Matthew Etherington and James Beattie combined to score the only goal- the latter heading home a deep cross- and Mark Hughes’ Man City had no answers. Just as Stoke were beginning to tire an impromptu roar from all four stands helped them over the line. It was a roar like no other and it was a win like no other.

2016-17 fixtures: 20 August (H), 11 March (A).


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