Updated: Saturday, 11th July 2020 @ 7:39am

Preview: City host Everton as United travel to Stoke in the Premier League

Preview: City host Everton as United travel to Stoke in the Premier League

By Melanie Hughes & Steven Oldham

Mancunian Matters preview this weekend’s Premier and Football League fixtures as City look to end their Everton hoodoo and United travel to an in-form Stoke City.

Manchester City v Everton

Manchester City face renowned bogey team Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday following their 2-0 win over Birmingham City in the Carling Cup.

City boss Roberto Mancini is expected to reunite prolific scoring duo Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero upfront despite Mario Balotelli scoring in midweek.

Kolo Toure is still waiting to resume his Premier League career and may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Owen Hargreaves – who marked his comeback from injury with a goal on Wednesday night – is looking for his first league start but Mancini gave no indication of his possible inclusion.

“Owen is a fantastic player and he can become an important player for us,” said the Italian.

There has not been a draw in this fixture since 1985 and the past 18 games at City have seen nine wins for each team.

Both teams coming out victorious against Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion, respectively and Everton boss David Moyes described the fixture as going to ‘a gun fight with a knife’.

Tim Howard is expected back in goal for the blues with Leon Osman and Sylvan Distin both in line for a recall after sitting out midweek.

Stoke City v Manchester United

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson takes his young side to the Britannia Stadium having never dropped a point to Stoke in six Premier League meetings.

However, United face a side in excellent form at home this season, taking points off Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as dispatching Tottenham in the Carling Cup.

Ferguson is expected to make a host of changes to the side that won against old rivals Leeds United on Tuesday night, with two-goal hero Michael Owen expected to drop to the bench.

United are hoping to have Rio Ferdinand back after missing three games with a calf strain and Javier Hernandez should be fine to make the bench after Ashley Cole’s tackle left United fearing a broken leg.

Stoke are the only current Premier League side that Wayne Rooney has not scored against and the former Everton man hopes to break this hoodoo.

Matthew Upson may be rewarded with a starting role in the first team after an excellent performance midweek but Kenwyne Jones is missing.

Arsenal v Bolton

Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle will be looking to build on his side’s fine Carling Cup victory at Aston Villa in midweek as they travel to play Arsenal.

The clash at the Emirates has the potential for some spice after Bolton chairman used Twitter to accuse Arsene Wenger of undervaluing Gary Cahill in the transfer window.

Midfielder Stu Holden is looking to keep his place after he completed 90 minutes for the first time this season while David Wheater is hoping his performance alongside Cahill merits keeping the shirt.

On-loan star Gael Kakuta will also be pressing for his first league start as Coyle ponders changing to a five-man midfield.

Arsenal are expected to welcome back skipper Robin Van Persie and other first team players after they were rested in the close Carling Cup win over League Two Shrewsbury.

Wigan v Tottenham

Roberto Martinez expects Hugo Rodallega to be out for a month after suffering a knee injury at Everton last week while Emmerson Boyce remains a doubt.

The Spaniard – who believed that his side deserved more at Goodison Park – has praised the atmosphere the Wigan faithful create at the DW Stadium.

“Every time we play at home we play with a real belief and a real confidence," said the former Swansea manager.

Tottenham welcome back Rafael Van der Vaart and Brazilian midfielder Sandro after both played a part in the midweek defeat to Stoke.

But they will be without Benoit Assou-Ekotto Niko Kranjcar (and Roman Pavlyuchenko who all join a long injury list.

Spurs defender Younes Kaboul is enjoying some good form and he is keen on getting a good result this weekend.

“Wigan is a difficult game and we are looking for the right result, we’re after three points again,” said Kaboul.

Bury v MK Dons

Bury are focused on staying in and MK Dons are focused on getting out in this intriguing League One encounter.

Despite losing the past three games in a row, Bury manager Richie Barker is confident that his players will do what they need to.

He said: "They are having to grow up fast and that's the way we decided to go.”

Mk Dons boss Karl Robinson has warned his players of complacency and told them not to be tricked by Bury’s position in the league.

The Dons will be without Gary MacKenzie after the defender received a red card for a headbutt against Huddersfield last weekend.

Oldham Athletic v Brentford

Paul Dickov has recalled Bradley Diallo to the Oldham squad after serving a three-match ban in what will be the only change as Oldham look to maintain their fine form.

With veteran striker Shefki Kuqi leading the line, Dickov is pleased with his side’s approach tiot he league this year.

"They've had a fantastic start, it's going to be a big test for us, but the one thing we're not going to do is get carried away,” said Dickov.

Brentford boss Uwe Rosler may give Toumani Diagouraga his first taste of competitive action this season/

Rosler said: "He's been training with us for three weeks, his fitness is good and he's put himself in contention."

Notts County v Rochdale

Rochdale manager Steve Eyre has admitted that his team have been struggling for numbers since the start of the season.

Eyre said: “The lads have put in a monumental effort over the first five or six weeks of the season and we've been working with a dozen players.”

However, he’s topped up his team with loan players and is hoping his team can get a few points away from the relegation zone. 

The former Manchester City coach will be looking for his side to bounce back from two close defeats to Charlton and Aldershot, respectively.

In the last 18 meetings between the two, County have recorded eight wins and Rochdale have come away with three victories.

Tamworth vs Stockport County

Stockport County’s game against Tamworth tomorrow will be the first competitive game between the two sides.

Didi Hamann’s team will look to return to winning ways after another score draw mid-week in South Wales at Newport County.

Striker Martin Gritton is set to miss the game with a back problem.  Ryan Fraughan is set to return to contention following a spell on the sidelines.

Hamann has allowed young striker Cameron Darkwah to extend his loan at Mossley, where he has five goals in three games.