Stoke v Manchester City preview: Joe Hart set to miss out again
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 20/08/16 12:27pm
Pep Guardiola will look to continue his perfect start as Manchester City manager in the lunchtime kick-off at Stoke on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
City followed up their 2-1 win over Sunderland last weekend with a 5-0 victory at Steaua Bucharest in the first leg of their Champions League play-off on Tuesday.
Joe Hart was on the bench for both matches and is expected to miss out again as question marks remain over his future.
Asked about the goalkeeper in his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: "I don't want players who are unhappy. I spoke with Joe the first moment we met in China [on tour], I have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a keeper. He's valuable.
"Until August 31, everything is open - If Joe is still here, he will fight for his place."
While City snatched a late win on the opening day, Stoke came from behind to draw 1-1 with Middlesbrough.
They beat City at the bet365 Stadium last season, with Marko Arnautovic scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory.
Xherdan Shaqiri is doubtful for Stoke with an ankle problem he sustained in pre-season and will be assessed.
Mark Hughes confirmed Marko Arnautovic is fine despite a thigh injury.
Goalkeeper Shay Given, 40, will likely deputise for Jack Butland (ankle) once more and Glen Johnson (quadriceps) is also out along with Stephen Ireland (broken leg) and Ibrahim Afellay (knee).
Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane have both returned to training for City but are unlikely to feature for a few weeks.
Vincent Kompany is unavailable due to injury and Yaya Toure could again be left out of the squad.
Stoke have won two of their last four Premier League games against City (L2) after winning just one of their previous 12 against them (D5 L6).
Man City's only previous Premier League win at the bet365 Stadium came in February 2015 (4-1). They have drawn five and lost two of the other seven games they've played there, amassing just four goals.
Peter Crouch has scored in three of his four Premier League appearances against Man City at the bet365 Stadium (three goals).
Sergio Aguero has netted six goals in six Premier League games against Stoke.
Mark Hughes has lost six of his 10 Premier League games against Manchester City since leaving his post there as manager (W2 D2 L6), with both of those wins coming in the last two seasons.
Pep Guardiola has won 30 of his last 36 league games in club management (D4 L2).
Paul Merson's prediction
Stoke had a good first result at Middlesbrough, which is a difficult place to go on the opening day.
As for Man City, I didn't see anything different against Sunderland despite all the pre-match talk. It was the same team that didn't move the ball quick enough last year.
They were slow and I was disappointed with their general play, so I think Stoke will get something on Saturday.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 6/1)