Stoke v Manchester City – Match Preview

Michael Owen could be in line to make his Stoke City debut against champions Manchester City on Saturday at the Britannia Stadium.

Tony Pulis snapped up the former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle and Manchester United striker on a free transfer on a one-year pay-as-you-play deal.

The deal has bought excitement amongst Stoke fans at the prospect of Owen lining up alongside his former England colleague Peter Crouch.

Crouch whilst not being in the England fold, scored one of the goals of last season in the corresponding fixture, which finished as a 1-1 draw.

Tony Pulis has done some fine business this summer, with Charlie Adam and Steven Nzonzi another two of seven signings made by the Welshman. Both could be in line to start on Saturday.

Manchester City never enjoy a trip to the Britannia, and have not won there in five matches. They have suffered three defeats and picked up two draws since Stoke’s return to the big time in the 2008-09 season.

City have also suffered three red cards in their past five trips to Stoke, often succumbing to their physical style of play.

Gareth Barry could be in line for his first action of the season, having recovered from a hernia operation.

City will however be without Mario Balotelli who is recovering from eye surgery, along with Sergio Aguero (knee) and new signing Jack Rodwell (knee) likewise.

Stoke have no new injury concerns, but remain without Matthew Etherington who is out with a hamstring problem.

Both sides have made unbeaten starts to the season, with City boasting seven points from nine, and Stoke three following three draws.

Prediction: Stoke 1-2 Manchester City
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