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Preview: Stoke City v Manchester City

The final Premier League fixture of the weekend sees relegation-threatened Stoke City host runaway leaders Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium tonight. (8pm kick-off).

A win for Stoke would see them move out of the relegation zone into 17th, and two points clear of the bottom three.

The Potters are winless in six since their 2-0 home win over Huddersfield in January.

Paul Lambert’s side come into the game on the back of a 0-0 draw at Southampton last weekend and have failed to score in five of their last nine matches.

As for Man City, they’ve had an extra two days to prepare for the clash. Their last Premier League match came in the form of a comprehensive 3-0 win over Arsenal 11 days ago.

Goals from Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Leroy Sane at Emirates Stadium extended City’s lead at the top of the table to 16 points.

With rivals Manchester United having closed the gap to 13 points following their 2-1 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday, a win for Pep Guardiola’s men would leave them 16 points clear of second placed United with just eight games to go.

City haven’t lost to the Potters since a 2-0 defeat at the Britannia in 2015, but have scored 15 goals in the four meetings since.

Team News

Stoke forward Mame Biram Diouf is set to sit out the game with City due to the shoulder injury he sustained last weekend at Southampton.

Defender Kevin Wimmer and striker Saido Berahino, who have been placed on programmes to up their fitness levels, could return to the matchday squad after missing the last six and two games respectively.

Midfielder Stephen Ireland (calf) is not yet ready to make his comeback and goalkeeper Lee Grant (broken wrist) also remains sidelined

Meanwhile, Man City playmaker David Silva returns after missing the midweek Champions League clash against Basel for personal reasons, but striker Aguero picked up a knee problem in training and is set to spend two weeks on the sidelines.

Forward Raheem Sterling and midfielder Fernandinho are both hoping to prove their fitness after returning to training following hamstring injuries.

Left-back Fabian Delph is available again after suspension but could be doubtful after suffering a knock. Benjamin Mendy (knee) is also back in training and could return in the next month.

Match Stats

Stoke have kept a clean sheet in three of their last seven Premier League games against City, but have conceded 19 goals across the other four games in that time, including seven in the reverse fixture in October.

City haven’t done the league double over Stoke since 1998-99, when they were in the third tier together.

Indeed, the Citizens have only won two of their nine Premier League trips to the Bet365 Stadium (D5 L2), though these have come in their last three visits there and both by a 4-1 scoreline.

The Potters have only won one of their 15 Premier League games against teams at the top of the table (D3 L11), but that win came at home vs Man City in December 2015 (2-0).

The team starting the day top of the table hasn’t lost to a team starting that day in the relegation zone since Manchester United lost to Wigan in April 2012, with the top team winning 21 and drawing four since then.

No side has been trailing for longer in Premier League matches than Stoke this season (9 hours, 10 minutes), while Man City have been in front for a league-high 22 hours and 23 minutes. (All data via Opta Stats)

The meeting between the two-sides in October earlier this season saw Man City win by an emphatic scoreline of 7-2.

The Blues raced into a 3-0 half-time lead before the Potters pulled two back through Mame Biram Diouf, and City right-back Kyle Walker, who put through his own net.

However, City scored a further four goals in a thumping win at the Ethiad Stadium to move them top of the Premier League.

WATCH: Manchester City 7-2 Stoke City – 14th October 2017: English Premier League.

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