Stoke City vs. Manchester City Pick – Odds

Stoke City vs. Manchester City - England FA Cup Match Preview, Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent England 8:45 AM EST Saturday January 26, 2013
By Jason Green, Soccer Handicapper, Predictem.com

Match Odds: Stoke City 4.75 / Manchester City 1.72 / Draw 3.60
Moneyline: Stoke City +375 / Manchester City -138 / Draw +260
Over/Under: 2.5 goals

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With the EPL taking a break this weekend the FA Cup resumes, as Stoke City plays host to Manchester City for the right to move to the last 16 in the competition. This is a match up of the 2011 FA Cup final where Stoke City was the surprise finalist and lost the match 1-0 to Man City.

Manchester City sits in 2nd place in the EPL standings 5 points behind Manchester United and with them already being out of the Champions League the league and FA Cup is their last chance to get some hardware this season. Stoke City is 10th in the league table and while they lost their last match to Man City in a road match a few weeks ago they have only lost 1 match on their pitch.

Stoke City does not have a potent offense with only 22 goals on the season and they will have a tough time scoring on a Man City defense that is on fire and has given up the fewest goals in the EPL. On fore may be an understatement, as City has not given up a single goal in their last 4 matches.

Stoke City has not been in good form lately, as in their last 5 EPL matches they only have 1 win, 1 draw, and 3 losses. They have really struggled on both sides of the pitch, as in that 5 match span they have only scored 4 goals, 3 coming in 1 match, and they have given up 13 goals.

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In EPL play these 2 teams played to a 1-1 draw at Stoke City in the beginning of the season with Manchester City beating Stoke 3-0 on January 1st.

Yaya Toure has played solid for City this season with 4 goals and 3 assists and he will be out for this game since he is taking part in the African Nations Cup.

In the match on January 1st at Etihad Stadium City had no problem beating Stoke, as they dominated the time of possession and they had 20 shots on goal while Stoke only had 5. Actually, in the first match up this season the same happened, but Stoke played much better defense, which they must do in this match.

Edin Dzeko and Sergio Agero have combined for 18 goals on the season and they are the guys the Stoke defense must key on. Carlos Tevez has 7 goals on the season and he may come off the bench.

Michael Owen is finally healthy for Stoke City and he scored his first goal of the season in their last match. Jonathan Walters and Peter Crouch have combined for 9 goals on the season and with Owens back in form the Stoke offense will be much better. Still, can they score on Man City G Joe Hart, who has 4 straight clean sheets? Big question.

With the tall Crouch Stoke will have to play well when they get set balls and corners and those along with the counter attack may be the best chances for them to find the back of the net.

In their last 10 matches Manchester City has an Over/Under 2.5 goal record of 4-6 and Stoke City is at 6-4.

Manchester Recent Form

1/29/2012 Norwich City 3 Manchester City 4 (Premier League)
1/1/2013 Manchester City 3 Stoke City 0 (Premier League)
1/5/2013 Manchester City 3 Watford ) (FA Cup)
1/13/2013 Arsenal 0 Manchester City 2 (Premier League)
1/19/2013 Manchester City 2 Fulham 0 ( Premier League)

Stoke City Recent Form

1/1/2013 Manchester City 3 Stoke City 0 (Premier League)
1/5/2013 Crystal Palace 0 Stoke City 0 (FA Cup)
1/12/2013 Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4 (Premier League)
1/15/2013 Stoke City 4 Crystal Palace 1 (FA Cup)
1/19/2013 Swansea City 3 Stoke City 1 (Premier League)

Jason’s Pick to Win: I think Stoke City will break out of their slumping play in this FA Cup match, but Man City simply have too many weapons on offense and they will win this match by a score of 2-0.