A dramatic comeback win over Chelsea in the midweek game seems to have injected some of that lost spark back into Manchester City and Roberto Mancini's side will be now looking to keep pace with league leaders United, when they go to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Both teams are in fine form, with Stoke City having earned draw against Tottenham, at White Hart Lane, in their last game. Indeed, Stoke was the only Premier League to team to be have picked up at least a point, after playing in the FA Cup last weekend. It has been a tiring week, no doubt, but Pulis' men will be happy to return to home turf, where they are strong. Stoke are currently 11th in the table and only two points separate them from 8th-placed Swansea.
There are only nine games remaining and Mancini knows the importance of getting all three points in this game, particularly since rivals United will not be playing till Monday. A win on Saturday would keep them on top for 48 hours at least, placing more pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson's men. City's away form has not been as impressive as their home standards but this should still be a comfortable win.
Pulis is unlikely to make changes to a Stoke side that came so close to a win against Spurs on Wednesday. However, midfielder Salif Diao is a doubt after limping off at White Hart Lane with a hamstring problem. Injured winger Matthew Etherington and suspended striker Ricardo Fuller will also miss the match.
Manchester City hope to welcome back captain Vincent Kompany back for this trip. The Belgian defender could return after missing three matches with a calf injury but his defensive partner Joleon Lescott is ruled out with a hip strain. Pablo Zabaleta also remains a doubt for this tie. Argentine forward Carlos Tevez, who made an impactful return to the City first team against Chelsea, is expected to start from the bench again, as he builds up match fitness.
Stoke City 1 - 2 Manchester City
Manchester City have not won an away match against Stoke since the Potters returned to top-flight football and if they wish to correct that record, they should be prepared for Stoke's trademark physical style. Mancini has fresh players, such as Dzeko, Milner and Johnson to call on for this fixture, while three matches in six days could prove too much for Pulis' comparatively small side. Expect a close contest at the Britannia but City's resources on the field and the bench should be enough to see off any threat.