Jon Walters scored a brace of goals in the replay win over Crystal Palace. Image courtesy of sport.msn.co.uk
Stoke City’s season has been full of peaks and troughs. At one stage in the domestic league Tony Pulis’s side went 10 games unbeaten, but the Potters are yet to break their duck in 2013 after suffering three straight defeats. One of those was a 3-0 loss to Manchester City , their opponent in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
These teams met on the final day of this competition back in 2011 when Yaya Toure scored the only goal of the game to give City its first FA Cup win since 1969 and its first piece of silverware in 35 years. Stoke is still searching its first Wembley win in this competition, although the Staffordshire club did take out the 1972 Football League Cup at the venue.
City had little trouble overcoming Watford in the previous round 3-0, but Stoke had to fight tooth and nail to get past Crystal Palace. After a scoreless draw at Selhurst Park, the replay was tied 1-1 at fulltime before the Potters slotted three goals past Lewis Price in the Palace goal. Two of those were from Jon Walters, who retained his place in the side despite conceding two own goals in the 4-0 mauling by Chelsea a fortnight back.
That was Stoke’s only home loss to date this season in the Premier League, and City won’t find the Britannia Stadium an easy place to progress to the final 16. Given Roberto Mancini’s team is slowly working its way back in to contention for the EPL title, it would not be surprising to see a weakened team put out on the park, especially with a fixture against QPR to come next Tuesday (AEDT).
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