FA Cup preview: Manchester City v Stoke City

City begin a double-header against Stoke hoping to progress in the FA Cup and push the Carling Cup defeat by United further into the distance. Tony Pulis’ side will be no pushovers after defeating Arsenal in the previous round, and the match promises to be more of a full-blooded spectacle than our last two league games at Eastlands.

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Player ratings: Manchester City v Stoke City

Given – A vital save with the game goalless set the tone. Good to see him coming off his line for crosses. Shay now has another fan in Mancini who called him “the best”. 8

Zabaleta – Pablo has always looked like the kind of defender who would do well in Serie A, and he was at ease in this new-look defence. 7

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Preview: Manchester City v Stoke City

Boxing Day sees Roberto Mancini’s first game as the new Manchester City manager and the anticipation is huge. The Italian has ramped up the expectation with his stated aim of finishing in the top four this season. The players have been put through double training sessions this week in a bid to reshape the team.

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