Lee Dixon doesn't see Roberto Mancini's dislike of the Britannia Stadium changing any time soon and expects Stoke to get something from their FA Cup Fourth Round tie...
"If the game is indeed won on Saturday I can see it being nicked by the odd goal, so Under 2.5 Goals looks a good bet at 1.9210/11."
Stoke City v Man City
Saturday 12:45, live on ITV1
The FA Cup makes a welcome return this weekend. Although it certainly has been slightly devalued over the years, I'm still a huge fan. I've experienced every emotion possible playing in the world's oldest cup competition - I know what it means to be knocked out by a so-called minnow and have also been lucky enough to lift the trophy three times. There's no doubt it has an unrivalled drama and atmosphere accompanying it.
On Saturday, and in a repeat of the 2011 Final, Manchester City travel to the Britannia for what will be a tricky tie for Roberto Mancini's men. There's no doubt Mancini will be worried about this fixture; City have a poor record at Stoke and The Potters under Tony Pulis seem tailor-made for the Cup. Stoke's manager is a man who likes to win battles first and play second, which makes his teams tough to beat in the rare atmosphere of a cup tie and their record in this competition is testament to that. The last time City travelled to Stoke in the FA Cup was for a replay in 2010 and Stoke emerged 3-1 winners. Roberto Mancini will be very aware of that going into this game.
It sounds strange, but something that's absolutely key for Man City is getting over the fact that it's a game against Stoke away. Sometimes the thought of playing a team you've got a questionable record against can be worse than the reality and the occasion can start to play on the minds of the players and manager. It's vital that City are ready for the game mentally.
In summary, I can see Stoke flying out of the blocks here and playing with a high tempo to put City's players under real pressure from the outset. And if the home side can nick an early goal, City will have to fight tooth and nail to get back in the game which will make for a hugely entertaining tie.
Whatever happens on Saturday, I don't think there'll be many goals in the game; Stoke don't score an awful lot and they'll double bolt the door in an attempt to stop Man City from scoring at the other end.
If the game is indeed won on Saturday I can see it being nicked by the odd goal, so Under 2.5 Goals looks a good bet at 1.9210/11.
Stoke/Draw in the Half Time/Full Time Market @ 20.019/1