Man City long overdue Britannia win and can beat Stoke to nil

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Given their big squad and the fact that they are out of the Champions League, Manchester City are destined to go all-out to win the FA Cup and this is probably the main reason why they are favourites at 7/2 to do so.

However, this price looks a touch short given that their tie in the fourth round is far harder than the draws received by fellow main contenders Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Man City travel to Stoke and the Britannia Stadium is a location at which they have had little success in recent years.

In six visits since 2009, Man City are still waiting for their first win, while Stoke have only been beaten at home once this season.

This suggests that 4/5 is worth opposing for a Man City win here, but given the recent troubles of the hosts, the Premier League champions have their best chance to snap their winless run.

Having barely conceded all season, Stoke have let in 13 goals across their last four Premier League games and midfielder Dean Whitehead is expected to have to deputise at full-back again here.

In fact, Stoke have only won one of their last eight in the league, while Roberto Mancini’s men have improved with four straight wins, which includes three consecutive clean sheets.

Only QPR and Aston Villa have scored fewer league goals than Stoke this season and although this is a cup match, they are not expected to suddenly change their shooting boots.

There is some appeal in the 9/4 that Man City win to nil.

The draw will be the popular result here at 5/2, but punters may be better accepting the 6/1 that the game finishes 1-1, as this has been outcome in four of the last five and all of the last three clashes between the pair at the Britannia.

Stoke are 7/2 to dump Man City out and this would provide a measure of revenge for their defeat in the 2011 FA Cup final. The good news is that Yaya Toure is at the African Cup of Nations so will not be scoring the winner this time.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.