Closed this Saturday, October 14, the block of games that coach Pepe Guardiola considers fundamental to the title achievement, Manchester City defends the leadership of the 2017/2018 season of the Premier League against Stoke. Starting at 11am (GMT), the match is part of the eighth round of the English Championship and will be held at Ethirad Stadium in Manchester.
The recent performance of Manchester City
Guardiola said it was essential for a victorious campaign to perform above average in the first eight rounds and in the final eight matches. In his second year in charge of Manchester City, he is ready to successfully deliver the first of these two stages completed.
The Manchester Blues lead the English Championship 2017/2018 with 19 points (six wins and a draw) added to the 21 played. An excellent index. His situation is not more comfortable in the fight for the first position because Manchester United achieved the same performance. He is only second in the standings because City has a slightly higher goal balance (20 to 19).
To try to improve this performance, Guardiola may have the support of Argentine striker Kun Aguero (six matches in the 2017/2018 Premier League season, six goals). He was out of the important 1-0 win in the classic against Chelsea in London in the seventh round after suffering an auto accident.
He suffered a fracture in his ribs after the car that brought him back from a musical show in Holland crashed. That’s why he ended up being cut short of the Argentina squad for the final rounds of the South American qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He returned to training after 12 days away. He still needs to improve his physical condition, but will undergo evaluation of the medical department to know if he can afford to be available to Guardiola for the game this Saturday. If you receive the release, it will most likely be related to the reservation bank.
Another possibility of return is the Belgian defender Vicent Kompany (three games, no goal). A contusion still suffered on the date set aside for qualifying matches in September, he was out of seven matches. You will also need a new medical evaluation to determine if you will be able to perform.
The coach, however, still needs to manage a down. Right back Mendy (four games, no goal) underwent surgery after suffering a serious knee injury. He is only expected to play again next year.
The current form of Stoke
Without the same pretensions of Manchester City, Stoke managed to stop in the seventh round a sequence of five games without wins (two draws and three defeats, including matches of the Premier League and the League Cup of England). At home, they defeated Southampton 2-1 to reach eight points (two wins, two draws and three losses). He went up to the thirteenth place.
Accustomed to being comfortably installed in the middle of the leaderboard, the Stoke is slightly below their standard of performance, as the distance to Swansea, eighteenth placed and first in the region of the sticking, is only three points. However, it had a table that can be considered unfavorable at the beginning of the season. In seven matches faced major favorites like Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. Of the quintet of giants, after the duel of this Saturday will only be the confrontation with Liverpool.
To try to keep his team out of the relegation zone until a more timely moment arrives – at least in theory – Welsh coach Mark Hughes will need to wait for the position of the medical department in relation to defenders Bruno Indi (five games in the 2017 season / 2018 Premier League, no goal) and Ryan Shawcross (three games, no goal). Both holders are in the process of recovering injuries.
History of the clashes between Manchester City and Stoke
In the 2016/2017 Premier League season, City, as a visitor, thrashed Stoke 4-1. At home, however, it was 0-0.