Rejuvenated Sterling looks a safe bet
Manchester City head to the Potteries, to the newly named Bet365 Stadium, looking to build on the early momentum they have gained since Pep Guardiola took the reins.
Raheem Sterling already looks rejuvenated and may yet live up to all the hype that preceded his big money move to the Etihad.
Mark Hughes’ Stoke side will be looking to build on their performance at Middlesbrough in Gameweek 1, where they came away with a point and a repeat of last season’s 2-0 victory in this fixture, courtesy of a brace from Marko Arnautović, would be just the tonic.
Goal projections – Stoke City 0.94 Man City 1.82
Team news & predicted starting line-ups for Stoke City v Man City
Hughes is likely to stick with a 4-2-3-1 but Guardiola’s formation will be much more flexible. Fernandinho will again be expected to conduct the orchestra, with İlkay Gündoğan still on the sidelines, but it is how he deploys his full-backs that is worth watching, something that is discussed in depth, in this excellent article by FourFourTwo.
Stoke City fantasy player to watch
Marko Arnautović failed to find the back of the net for Austria at the Euro 2016 finals but he’s a player that is never short of confidence and he will be relishing the visit of City.
Guardiola’s new-look defence are likely to have some teething problems and the 6’3’’ forward could be the man to hurt them, just as he did in this fixture last season.
Stoke City team news
This game is likely to come too early for Jack Butland, while right-back Glen Johnson is also expected to miss out.
Long-term casualties Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland are not expected to be back in action until the new year.
Predicted starting line-up for Stoke City (4-2-3-1)
Man City fantasy player to watch
Raheem Sterling played the full 90 minutes against Sunderland, suggesting that Guardiola clearly has faith in him. Can he eclipse the 6 goals and 2 assists he managed in the whole of the 2015/16 Premier League season ? If he does and if he starts to produce the type of performances that he displayed for Liverpool, prior to his drawn-out transfer, fantasy managers up and down the country will have no option but to take note.
Man City team news
Leroy Sané and Vincent Kompany are the key absentees for Manchester City alongside Gündoğan.
Yaya Touré wasn’t included in the party that went to Romania for their Champions League qualifying tie, with the manager asking him to focus on his fitness, so it will be interesting to see if he is involved this weekend.
Predicted starting line-up for Man City (4-1-4-1)
Which Raheem Sterling will we see in Gameweek 2 ?