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Stoke are right to fear Barcelona backlash from wounded Man City

Posted on February 22, 2014 by Admin

After a stirring performance but a bad result against Barcelona left Manchester City teetering on the brink of a Champions League exit, Stoke City will be hoping to take advantage of any tiredness or mental hangover. But former City boss Mark Hughes has warned his players to expect nothing of the sort.

In fact, the Welshman is expecting the exact opposite, as revealed in a Mirror report. He thinks it is much more likely that all the frustration and anger that the Man City players will be feeling after the Barcelona game will be multiplied and taken out on Stoke when they run out on to the Etihad pitch today.

Hughes said, “Top teams and top players can refocus very quickly and get on with the job in hand.

“We couldn’t pick a harder game to come back to and people think we haven’t got a chance because of City’s home performances.

“But we drew with City at home so we know we have got a chance.”

Meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini has backtracked and apologised for his ill-advised post-match comments about the referee and the reasons for picking him. Hopefully he will have got the players to move on and concentrate on the Premier League again. We simply cannot afford to not win this game with such a tight title race in progress. What would really help everyone at the club would be another goal-fest.

City bounced back well to beat Everton after losing at home to Bayern earlier this season, so there is no reason to expect anything different today against a weaker side. But we still don’t have Aguero available and could see Jovetic play as a a second striker again.

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