Stoke v Man City - Saturday 12:30, Sky Sports 1
After thrashing Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday night, Pep Guardiola will know his Manchester City side faces a different prospect this weekend at Stoke. Whilst the Potters have sacrificed some of their defensive steel – they’ve managed just one clean sheet in their last 17 games – in favour of creative spark under Mark Hughes they have often struggled to find a consistent source of goals, scoring six in their last seven matches and all by different players.
Perhaps more significant for Man City’s chances this season than the dropping of Joe Hart is the positioning of David Silva in a deeper role. Stoke may look to use Gianelli Imbula’s physicality to prevent him from receiving the ball in pockets of space, and will be hoping to starve Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne in particular of service.
However, with the form shown by Raheem Sterling and the manner in which Man City managed to score five whilst missing two penalties on Tuesday, Stoke look set to struggle to contain this extravagant City side. With both sides having been involved in high scoring matches at the backend of last season, and Man City still missing the calming influence of Vincent Kompany, we think there could be goals in this one and are backing Over 2.5 Goals at 1.85.