Champions elect Manchester City are the visitors to the bet365 Stadium tomorrow night on Sky Sports as Pep Guardiola’s side look to re-establish their 16 point lead over rivals Manchester United at the top of the table.
Paul Lambert spoke before the game of his experience with Guardiola in the past, when the Spaniard was in charge of Bayern Munich where he took the opportunity to study his training methods, “I had a really good chat with him – it was a really good education just sitting with him and talking about football and then I watched a training session. I thought he was brilliant.”
On whether his side can defy all odds and come away with something from the clash, Lambert recalled his playing days; “If I go back to my own playing career, did anyone give Borussia Dortmund a chance against the great Juve side in 97? Probably not. Probably everybody and their dog thought Juve would win. In a one-off game you can win, and that is the beauty of football. We’ll do everything we can to try to win.”
“I know it will be incredibly tough, but also we have to try to entertain as well and try to make it a game that they don’t really want.”
Before adding “If we try to play football the same way they do, then we will be beat, that is the reality. We have to have an idea of another way to try to beat them.”
Guardiola will fly his side out to Abu Dhabi following the game on Monday night, thanks to the two week break his side have following their embarrassing F.A. Cup defeat to Wigan, he spoke to the press before the match.
The Spaniard spoke about his dislike for Monday night clashes in his Friday press conference, “I have bad experiences playing games on Mondays. You have to be focused because Stoke away is always complicated, they’re fighting to be in the Premier League.”
His first experience of the bet365 Stadium was a 4-1 win in the opening month of his first season in England, but the former Barcelona manager was quick to deny a walk in the park, “We were lucky last season to win there. When we face teams who are fighting to stay in the Premier League it is complicated.”
In team news City are hopeful that in-form Raheem Sterling will return to the side as well as midfield stalwart Fernandinho but the Blues will be without striker Sergio Aguero it was announced today.
Stoke will be without utility man Mame Diouf following his injury suffered last weekend against Southampton but following their rigorous fitness programme’s Said Berahino and Kevin Wimmer could be in line to return to the matchday squad.
Stoke are without a win against Manchester City since December 2015, where they scored two and kept a clean sheet.
The game will be showed live on Sky Sports with kick off at 8pm.