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Stoke ‘harder than Manchester United’ says Man City manager

| 14.05.2011

In recent years the FA Cup has played third fiddle to the Champions League and the Premier League, but this year there’s a real sense the magic of the FA Cup is back.

Stoke will be making their first appearance in the FA Cup final while Manchester City are desperate to end their 35-year trophy drought and the FA Cup final will be one of the biggest betting events of the year.

Stoke enter the game as the huge underdogs which is surprising considering Stoke’s recent record against Manchester City and the fact it’s a one-off cup final.

Stoke are 2/1 to lift the FA Cup later this afternoon and Roberto Mancini is certainly wary of the threat the opposition will provide.

“Saturday will be harder than United,” admitted Mancini.

“Stoke are a strong team and a very difficult team. To think they are an easy team would be a mistake.

“If we want to win we need to play very well. We should pay attention in every situation. We cannot concede anything.”

For punters hoping for an exciting and expansive cup final, think again, as Mancini’s words would suggest the defensive mentality will be in force once again at Wembley.

Mancini’s Manchester City have been the most defensive-minded side in the Premier League this season and you can guarantee under 2.5 goals at 8/11.

Manchester City are 5/4 to keep a clean sheet while Stoke, who have conceded just twice in their FA Cup run, are 3/1 to keep a clean sheet.

0-0 looks a real possibility at the end of 90 minutes and is 8/1, while Manchester City are 8/1 to win after extra-time and 12/1 to win on penalties.

A £10 stake on Stoke winning in extra time would return £170. New customers can sign up here to take advantage of a free bet worth up to £30.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.