Stoke City manager Paul Lambert believes that the pressure is off his side this weekend, as few people expect them to beat runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.
The Potters head into Monday evening’s game with only one defeat in six, against a team that Lambert has described as ‘one of the top sides in Europe’.
“I think Manchester City are a little bit different now than they were a few years ago,” he said.
“It’s a great game for us, nobody expects anything. It’ll be a great atmosphere and on any given day you can win a game of football.
Manchester City haven’t completed a league double over Stoke since the 1998/1999 season, but the Scot is expecting that record to come under severe threat.
“I’ve got a few things in my head that I want to try and implement first and foremost, but I know we’re up against the top side in England.
“The lads are doing everything they can to turn the draws into wins, I can’t ask for anymore from them.
“Mame’s [Biram Diouf] been great for us, Saido’s [Berahino] had a little problem with certain things, but I don’t have any fear about any other player at this football club.
“We’ll go into the game with Manchester City and give everything we’ve got to try and win it. It’ll be a great occasion for us and I can’t wait for the game to come around.”
Stoke are just one point away from safety heading into the game, but the nature of the table means that one win could lift them as high as 13th in the table.
“It’s incredible the way the table is, that’s the beauty of it because our form’s pretty decent.
“We’ve picked up points everywhere we’ve been, except the Bournemouth game, we just need that little bit of luck. But if we keep this spirt and this fighting attitude up, then we’ll be fine.”
Click below to watch StaffsLive’s coverage of Paul Lambert’s press conference ahead of Monday’s match against Manchester City.