Stoke City vs. Manchester City, 2013 FA Cup: Preview

Michael Regan

Manchester City's best chance at a trophy this season will come through the FA Cup, so they should probably put their best foot forward against Stoke City.

The Premier League title race is still very much a thing, but the FA Cup probably presents Manchester City's best chance at capturing a piece of silverware this season. Manchester United's form, even given their poor performance in a draw last weekend, has been excellent. City are more likely to smash their way through the FA Cup than United are to falter.

On Saturday, City face the team they beat at Wembley back in 2011 to lift their first major trophy in their new era of big spending. Stoke City, though inconsistent in their ability to score goals, play a style of football that lends itself to deep cup runs. With Yaya Toure gone to the Africa Cup of Nations and a couple of City attackers dealing with illness, it wouldn't be stunning to see Stoke steal a win or at least force a replay.

Stoke City injuries and suspensions

Out: Rory Delap (calf), Marc Wilson (leg). In doubt: Ryan Shotton (hamstring), Andy Wilkinson (back).

Manchester City injuries and suspensions

Out: Maicon (knee), Micah Richards (knee), Yaya Toure (international duty), Kolo Toure (international duty). In doubt: Mario Balotelli (illness), Samir Nasri (illness).

Stoke's injuries are nothing new and shouldn't affect them in the slightest. City are certainly hurt by Yaya Toure's absence. They'll be missing both him and his brother for quite a while if the Ivory Coast meet expectations at the Africa Cup of Nations. Samir Nasri and Mario Balotelli have both been ill recently.

Match date/time: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. local, 7:30 a.m. ET

Venue: Brittania Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, England

TV: ITV1 (U.K.), FOX Soccer Plus (U.S.), Sportsnet World (Canada).

Online: FOX Soccer 2 Go

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