After picking up a crucial victory at home to Arsenal at the weekend, Premier League leaders Manchester City will be hoping that it forms the basis for another unbeaten domestic run. The Manchester City v Stoke City clash will be a true test for the Citizens.
The loss at Chelsea last time out was the first of their Premier League campaign of course and after crashing out of the Champions League just before this, it was so incredibly important for Roberto Mancini's men got the points against the Gunners.
The pressure is well and truly on from Manchester United too of course with City's lead a rather vulnerable two points. Sir Alex Ferguson wants his team to be top by the turn of the year and City must do everything they can to ensure this doesn't happen.
The win over Arsenal was their eighth from as many Premier League games this year and the Etihad Stadium is without doubt a fortress.
This can in part be attributed to the fact that they enjoy playing in front of their passionate home fans of course, but is also massively influenced by the amount of attacking options they have. If someone isn't firing, they can bring on an international striker to get the team ticking.
They have the strongest squad in England and it has been proved on a number of occasions. The excellent home form has helped their goal difference this year too and they will be looking to add to this significantly against Stoke to go into Christmas top of the tree.
As for the Potters, they will go into this game as underdogs of course. After four Premier League wins in succession, the pressure is well and truly lifted from their shoulders too.
No matter what happens on Wednesday evening, they cannot drop any lower than their current position of 8th and the old saying “anything is a bonus” is certainly relevant for the Potters in this one.
They have looked stronger and stronger in recent weeks though and perhaps a positive result at somewhere like Manchester City isn't out of the question. It could be seen as the next step in their progression as an established top-half Premier League side?
In truth though, the most in-form team in world football could come to Manchester City at the moment and the home side would still be expected to do the business.
So, even though it won't have too much of a negative effect on Stoke's season, it is Mancini's men that should come away with a relatively comfortable victory in the Manchester City v Stoke City clash.