Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes the England national team would benefit from more players going overseas during their careers. While Stoke are only one point from safety, they’ve allowed the most goals in the division.
Their long unbeaten streak has ended however, eliminated from the FA Cup by Wigan before losing the second leg of their Champions League Last-16 clash with Basel. The Englishman should have Bruno Martins Indi for company, with Moritz Bauer and Kostas Stafylidis likely to be the full-backs.
Silva stepped up again at Stoke.
After 26 minutes, an exquisite Kevin De Bruyne cross appeared to have set up Silva for a chance only for the Spaniard to miskick six yards out, with Fernandinho sending the rebound over.
The team’s supporters certainly had the idea of rubbing salt into United’s wounds with a party at The Etihad as they sang several songs about arch-rivals United and their manager Jose Mourinho during Monday’s 2-0 win at Stoke City.
And Guardiola’s side will be delighted to head for the sun immediately after the game and a chance to recharge their batteries following a night of old-school Stoke.
1999 – Manchester City haven’t done the league double over Stoke since the 1998-99 campaign, when they were in the third tier of English football.
“I prefer to play at weekends, when all the teams play”, said Guardiola.
David Silva scored on either side of the interval to give City all three points without any fuss. “Knowing City’s nearly comical capacity for failure, they will probably win only for Port Vale and Portsmouth to do likewise”, wrote the anonymous preview writer in the Sunday Telegraph.
Can he spring a surprise?
Stoke’s most unsafe player in Xherdan Shaqiri got the better of makeshift left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko and spotted Badou Ndiaye on the edge of the box, with the Senegalese midfielder’s deflected shot spinning inches wide.
City’s development has happened at a much faster pace under Guardiola, who, after heavy investment in the transfer market, could secure a treble in his second season in charge. With Pep Guardiola & co. not having a game for three weeks after this one, the league leaders can launch quite an onslaught on the Potters. Offensively, Stoke are very dependent on Swiss global Xherdan Shaqiri, who has scored a team-best seven goals and six assists.