Since Stoke City got promoted to the Premier League in 2008, the club has managed to establish itself as a mainstay in the top flight English football. In fact, the visit to the bet365 Stadium has been dreaded as one of the toughest in England forcing Wayne Rooney to say that even the great Lionel Messi would struggle in those windy conditions.
But this year the Potters are looking at the worst case scenario of going down and even their own den has shown its back to them as Stoke won just five home games all season.
The away form is even more dreadful with Stoke winning only one game out of 15, and conceding a massive 33 goals in those matches. Clearly a form that every club dreads, and a form which is bad enough to push a club to a level below.
Still, there is some hope and by the turn of events this weekend where all the teams surrounding them have dropped points, there is a real possibility that Stoke will climb out of the relegation zone if and only if they beat the champions-elect Manchester City, that's it, and nothing else- An Easy task we guess!
Stoke City form (Last six matches all competitions)- W D L D D D
Paul Lambert has certainly built some confidence among his players, and though Potters are drawing too many games, they at least have some momentum heading into the make-or-break stage of the campaign.
Manchester City, on the other hand, are having the season out of their wildest dreams. The title was wrapped up by December and the only blemish on this near-perfect season is that the Citizens won't be doing the domestic treble after Wigan dumped them out of the FA Cup.
Still, it's a season where they have set the bar way too high even by Pep Guardiola's own standards. The runaway leaders have already won the League Cup, moved to the quarterfinal of the Champions League, and are just four points away from the Premier League, make it three if they win against Stoke today.
Manchester City form(Last six matches all competitions)- W L W W W L
1. Manchester City have lost two times in their last seven meetings against Stoke City, winning four and drawing the other one.
2. Stoke City have kept three clean sheets against the Citizens in their last seven games. But have conceded a staggering 19 in other four.
3. Manchester City haven't done the league double over Potters since 1998-99 when the Sky Blues were in the 3rd tier of English football.
4. Along with Liverpool, Manchester City are the only club not to have lost a single home game this season.