Stoke City vs. Manchester City: Preview, Live Stream, Start Time and More

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Stoke City vs. Manchester City: Preview, Live Stream, Start Time and More
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

After their thrilling victory over Chelsea on Wednesday, Manchester City faces another tough challenge against Stoke City on Saturday.

City are now just one point behind rivals Manchester United at the top of the league table and cannot afford to drop many points in the final weeks of the season, since United almost always find a way to win matches late in the year.

Stoke is 11th in the league table and are coming off an impressive match against Tottenham on Wednesday that ended in a 1-1 draw.

Let's look at everything you need to know about this awesome matchup.

 

Where: Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, England

Watch: Fox Soccer Channel

Live Stream: Sky Sports

When: Saturday, March 24 at 1:30 p.m. ET

 

Most Important Player to Watch: Samir Nasri

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

After scoring the match-winning goal against Chelsea, French midfielder Samir Nasri will continue to be an important part of the Manchester City squad.

Nasri did not fit into the starting XI right away earlier in the season but has slowly become more comfortable in his first season with the club.

Nasri's playmaking talents, including his passing and dribbling, will give him an opportunity to create many quality scoring chances against a Stoke City defense that is not one of the best in English football.

Expect the Frenchman to play a huge role in the outcome of Saturday's match.

 

Key Matchup: Stoke City center backs vs. Manchester City forwards

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With the return of Carlos Tevez to the Manchester City lineup, manager Roberto Mancini has even more offensive firepower at his disposal as the race for the Premier League title heats up.

With talented goal scorers such as Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero available to Mancini, the key matchup in this game for Stoke will be limiting the scoring chances the City forwards can create.

If Stoke don't defend well to begin the match, City could score some quick goals that would effectively end the match.

 

What They're Saying

Joe Hart thinks the return of Tevez to the club will be a positive, saying via Soccernet:

"I haven't actually trained with him," Hart said in the Sun. "But those who have assure me he's doing really well. It's down to the manager to assess it. But a fully fit and firing Carlos has got to be a positive for us.

"We've got energy in the team and we've got a lot of firepower. But Carlos brings us more of that. The strikers who are here now have got us in a position where we could get a record points tally in the league. But having Carlos back will be like a new signing."

 

Prediction: City win 3-1

Stoke City is 0-2-1 in their last three league matches and have struggled throughout the season against the top-tier clubs.

Since the start of the new year, Stoke is 0-3-2 against the top six teams in the league. Against a Manchester City club with so much attacking talent, Stoke will not be able to earn a positive result.

 

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