Last Updated: 01/01/13 4:51pm
Tevez looks to find Sinclair but Wilkinson - who has competed well - steps in to deny the substitute.
Great strike from Whelan but Hart is at full stretch to deny him and turn the ball onto the post. The England man had to be at his best there.
Injury blow for the home side as Aguero goes down clutching his hamstring. He limps from the field to be replaced by Carlos Tevez.
GOAL AGUERO: The Argentine opens his account for 2013 with a low shot from the spot which evades Begovic's dive. The Stoke keeper should probably have done better there.
PENALTY MAN CITY. Silva goes down under challenge from N'Zonzi - although the tackle looks to be just outside the area.
Dean Whitehead is stripped for action as Pulis looks to ring the changes to try and get back into the contest.
Golden chance for Walters to get a goal back. Whelan's corner is flicked on by Jerome but the striker flicks his effort over the bar from just four yards out.
Kompany blocks N'Zonzi's drive from the edge of the area. Half-hearted appeals for a Stoke penalty waved away.
Lescott is booked for blocking the driving run of Jerome at the expense of a free-kick. Hart has to fist Charlie Adam's centre away.
GOAL CITY: DZEKO. The Bosnian makes the most of a handling error by Begovic to tap in the home side's second. Aguero weaves his way into the Stoke box and stabs a shot at the Stoke keeper who spills the shot into the path of Dzeko who taps in from two yards out.
Milner's enjoyed plenty of space down the right and his cross is dealt with at the expense of a corner. Stoke fail to clear and Dzeko gets a half chance which is knocked away for another corner which finishes in the arms of Begovic.
Jones makes way for Etherington and looks somewhat disgruntled to be taken off. Walters looks like he'll now play as the central striker.
High tackle from Huth sees the first booking of the afternoon as he hacks down Aguero in full flight.
Stoke are back out on the pitch. Manchester City follow them out to applause from the home fans - and the watching David Hasselhoff.
Stoke were stubborn in the first-half but find themselves a goal down at the break. Sky Bet go 7/2 that there are no more goals while Pablo Zabaleta is 33/1 to score the next goal too.
That's all for the first 45 minutes. Hard to argue with the scoreline as the visitors have failed to trouble Joe Hart, mustering a single effort on goal to the home side's eleven. Join me in 15 for the second period.
Just a minute of added time. Hard to argue that the champions are good value for their lead. Will be interesting to see how Tony Pulis responds to going behind.
GOAL MAN CITY: Zabaleta starts and finishes the move as he combines with Milner to open the scoring. Milner drives the ball low at Begovic who saves with his foot but Zabaleta is Johnny on the Spot to tap the ball in from six yards out.
Shawcross tackles Dzeko from behind on the edge of the area and is penalised as the Bosnian goes down pretty easily. Five City players ring the ball and eventually Toure steps up but drives his free-kick straight into the wall.
Cameron sprints at the home defence but Clichy stands his ground to deny the marauding Stoke right-back.
Silva runs 40 yards as he drives towards the Stoke area but Wilkinson tracks him and comes away with the ball. Great defending from the visitors so far.
Aguero comes close again as he hits the post with a flick header from Barry's cross. Surely only a matter of time before the Argentine finds the net.
Aguero breaks free again and plays the ball into Dzeko whose attempted flick fails to find its target. Poor effort from the Bosnian international.
Kompany breaks up a rare Stoke attack and releases Milner in the visitors' half. The England midfielder slips a pass to Dzeko but his right-footed strike is sliced well wide.
Wilkinson's cross finds Kenwyne Jones. Adam tumbles in the box but the penalty appeals as Barry clashes with the Stoke midfielder are pretty half-hearted.
Aguero takes the ball on the half turn and lets fly with a stinging right-footed shot which Begovic does well to parry. Zabaleta is unable to put the rebound back into the danger area.
Lescott gives the home fans a few palpitations with a back pass to Joe Hart but the England keeper is able to make the clearance without undue alarm.
Toure sends the ball long this time for Aguero to chase but Wilkinson makes sure he denies the striker any space.
Clichy marauds down the Blues' left and centres low but Whelan is there again to snuff out the danger with Dzeko lurking.
Milner sends a dangerous ball across the Stoke goal which Huth intercepts although his attempted clearance could have gone anywhere.
Aguero surges towards the Stoke goal but Huth is across with a well-timed challenge to deny the Argentine.
A rare foray out of their own half by Stoke but Whelan and Walters can't link up on the edge of the home area.
Aguero weaves his magic inside the Stoke penalty area but Shawcross is able to slide in and clear the danger. The visitors are certainly under the cosh in the opening skirmishes.
Manchester City are out of the blocks early here. Stoke are set up as 4-5-1 to try and stifle the home side. An early Milner corner comes to nothing.
Great start from the home side as Milner links up with Aguero forcing Begovic into a smart save at his near post.
One last bit of correspondence before we kick off. James says: "Going to be a very tough match today but with the return of Shawcross and Cameron reckon we will be back to our watertight defence ways. Stoke to start the new year with a great 0-0 result!"
The Etihad Stadium is filling up now. Just caught a glimpse of Javier Mascherano in the tunnel as we await the teams.
Sky Bet have boosted the price on a number of potential outcomes, including Stoke to win 1-0 (25/1 from 20/1) and David Silva to score first to 7/1 from 13/2.
Interesting to see Michael Owen was listed on the Stoke teamsheet but has now been replaced by Ryan Shotton. No word as to the issue as yet.
No surprise to see the home side are hot favourites to record a win this afternoon and are 2/7 with Sky Bet. You can get 9/1 on a Stoke victory while the draw is priced at 22/5. Aguero is 100/30 to net the first goals while Kenwyne Jones is best priced for the visitors at 12/1.
Mitch Till from Stoke says: "This is obviously going to be a very hard match if we want to get anything from it - we are going have to stick to our own game, be physical and put plenty of hard work in, get the very key players out of the game (Toure, Silva, Aguero) and we need the slow the play down as much as possible. We need to make sure we don't concede any early goals and need to attempt to hit them on the break or use our aerial threat from set pieces. It's always going to be a toughie so I personally don't mind a loss against The Blues but anything can happen with our recent form."
@gravesisthename tweets: "Stoke and Man City have conceded the least in the premier league so it will be a low scoring game! 1-0 stoke."
@elparrasito tweets to say: "Stoke are hard to break down so mcfc conceding goals & struggle to score will make it a nail biter. 2-1 to City
@johnnyhayman has tweeted his prediction for today and says: City 3-1 Stoke (Aguero 2, Dzeko 1) (Walters 1)
Interesting selection by the home side with out of favour defender Joleon Lescott back in the starting line-up. Team: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Barry, Milner, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko
Here's the Stoke side for this afternoon's clash: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross (c), Huth, Wilkinson; Jerome, Nzonzi, Adam, Whelan, Walters; Jones.
Edd from Durban, South Africa, has been in touch and says: "This is going to be a knee jerker today. Stoke are playing good football at the moment and will be going all out for a win. Past games have been very tight so I'm going for a 1-1 draw,although I'd love to see Stoke get three points." Best of luck to you Edd.
I'm on commentary duty from the Etihad this afternoon. If you've a match prediction or a comment to make on either club, get in touch via email - firstname.lastname@example.org - or Tweet me on @skysportswebed