Very briefly, the Brittania Stadium remains a tough place to go and get a result and City have only lost four times here since Christmas 2008, the same number of defeats in that period as suffered by established top six side Aston Villa.
Tony Pullis has built a squad with few stars, but with competition for all starting places and the signing of keeper Asmir Begovic, will ensure Thomas Sorensen remains fully focused between the sticks today.
Rovers are looking secure in midtable, but this is almost exclusively thanks to their home form, on the road their record is dire, with just one win and six points collected from 17 starts, a possible 51 points. In that sequence, they have troubled the "scorer" just 9 times and conceded an eyepopping 42 times, this season, only Wigan, outside of the drop zone have leaked more and we are only talking here about league starts, forgetting the nine shipped in two cup starts at Villa !
City will welcome the chance of meeting a "weaker" opponent after hosting Arsenal and Liverpool in their last two home starts, games in which they battled for every ball, for the full 90 minutes and if they show the same level of commitment today, should collect maximun points from a side who tend to offer little once falling behind in away games. Rovers key playmaker David Dunn remains sidelined and new signing Yildiray Basturk, whilst an interesting addition, is not yet fit enough to be considered for selection.
6.5 points Stoke City -1/4 ball asian line.