It’s a tale of two cities at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon as Tony Pulis’s Stoke host the blue half of Manchester, with both sides yet to taste defeat in the league this season.
The visitors go into the game without several key players; strikers Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli remain side-lined through injury along with midfielder Gareth Barry and defenders Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaletta, while summer signing Jack Rodwell will also miss out.
Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko, who were both on the score sheet last time out in the 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers, will continue to lead the line for Roberto Mancini’s men.
Tevez has netted in all three of his sides games so far this season, and is 5.5 (9/2) with Paddy Power to open the scoring on Saturday. Meanwhile midfielder Yaya Toure, who has also been scoring prolifically of late, is 10.0 (9/1) to get the first goal of the game.
Stoke have drawn all three of their Premier League games so far this season, and begin a tough run of fixtures with this weekend’s visit of the champions.
Forward Mamady Sidibe remains side-lined, along with midfieder Jamie Ness, who will have to wait a little longer for his debut while Matthew Etherington may just recover from a hamstring injury in time to be involved.
New signing Michael Owen could well feature after proving his fitness in training, but will most likely start on the substitute’s bench.
Despite all of his injury worries, there is no denying that when fit, Owen has proved throughout his entire career that he has the ability to find the net. With this in mind, you might be tempted to back him to get the last goal of this game, at odds of 11.0 (10/1) with Ladbrokes, who also offer a rather generous 4.33 (10/3) for him to score at any time during the game.