Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

'We know what to expect': Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini predicts tough test for Blues at Stoke

'We know what to expect': Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini predicts tough test for Blues at Stoke

By Paddy von Behr

Roberto Mancini is prepared for a harsh welcome to the Britannia Stadium when Manchester City visit Stoke City in the FA Cup fourth round.

Like many other teams, City have struggled at the Britannia in the last few years, despite finding Tony Pulis’ side less robust at home.

And Mancini is expecting a difficult game against a side who have a good FA Cup record in recent seasons.

“It will be difficult to win tomorrow because away at Stoke is a strong game,” he said.

“At home they are very strong because they have the support – it’s a different team.

“Every team that goes to the Britannia has a problem because at home they play well, they are strong, they play physically, set pieces – everything is a problem.

“I think the last two years we went there we played well, we had a lot of chances to win and we were really unlucky.”

The fixture is a repeat of the 2011 FA Cup final, in which City ran out winners to claim their first trophy of Mancini’s tenure.

The Italian pin-pointed this as a pivotal moment in his time in Manchester and is eager to add to City’s silverware every year.

“I think in that moment we changed our mentality,” he said. “We wanted to win that final and it was an important moment for us.

“We want to try to do this every year if it is possible.

“We have an FA Cup, a Premier League and this year if it is possible we want to try to win.

“I think it is important for us to win every year.”

Samir Nasri faces a let fitness test, but in-form Pablo Zabaleta is fit to return from a foot injury.

Image courtesy of Yahoo UK, with thanks

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