Home > Sport > Football
Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 7:13:13 AM
by shaun orange
Micah Richards (left) has recovered from a hamstring injury and will be ready for action against Stoke. – EPA Photo
MANCHESTER City resume their Premier League campaign Saturday after the international break with what appears to be a rather tricky away fixture. They travel to Stoke knowing full well that this team cannot be taken lightly.
Furthermore, Manuel Pellegrini’s team have been weakened by injuries to key players, including skipper Vincent Kompany and playmaker David Silva, who was forced to pull out of Spain’s World Cup qualifiers with a groin strain.
To compound matters, Argentine defender Martin Demichelis, who joined the Etihad from Atletico Madrid two weeks ago and has yet to make his debut for the Citizens, has been stricken by an Achilles injury and will miss the game at the Britannia Stadium.
The good news though, for Pellegrini, is that England right-back Micah Richards has recovered from his hamstring injury. He is in line to answer the manager’s call should the Chilean boss opt to play the 25-year-old alongside Joleon Lescott or Matija Nastasic in central defence, given that both are left-footed and Richards has previously featured in that position at the Etihad.
The Citizens will also be heartened by the team bouncing back after the Cardiff loss with a 2-0 win over Hull in their next outing. That victory lifted City into joint third and a position where they believe they should be – at the top-end of things in the Premiership standings.
Anything short of a win might be seen by the Citizens’ faithful as points dropped wastefully, but the trip to take on Mark Hughes, the former City manager, and his team may not be as simple as it looks.
This outfit has chalked up three wins on the trot, albeit against Crystal Palace, Walsall and West Ham, and are brimming with confidence. So much so that some of the Potters folks are talking about actually winning it.
Of course, Pellegrini and his troops will not allow that to happen if they can help it. Indeed, City will be hopeful of registering a comfortable away win, if only to consolidate their standing among the top contenders as they are a mere three points off the pace.
A triumphant return from the Britannia would more than help silence their critics, put the injury worries on the back-burner and make their Premier League resumption a happy one.
Shaun Orange believes City will beat Stoke at the Britannia Saturday, but only after a tough battle as the home team endeavour to extend their run of three wins in a row.
Tags / Keywords:
football, Noisy Neighbours, Shaun Orange, Manchester City, Stoke, Manuel Pellegrini
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)