Man City seek end to unhappy Mondays at Stoke

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Stoke went in at half-time full of heart that they might find a way back but Silva had other ideas. Ahead of Monday's match in hand, they sit one point behind 17th-placed Southampton, but with a goal difference of -26 compared to Saints' -15.

"There are always goals to pursue, statistics to overcome, and we will carry on and then work towards next season".

But that game is four weeks away with City now facing a 19-day break before their next fixture.

It also means that Manchester City could make clinching the title, at home to United, a real possibility.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged more English players to test themselves overseas and experience football in other countries, arguing that it will have a beneficial effect on the national team as has been the case with Spain in the past.

Stoke have now managed just three goals in their past six games, and carried sporadic threat in a game that was effectively a free hit with no one expecting a result against the champions-elect. Silva missed last week's Champions League game against Basel to be with his family and will fly back to Valencia while his teammates go to the United Arab Emirates.

Only Jonas Lössl (50) has conceded more Premier League goals among goalkeepers than Jack Butland (49) this season. "Last season we were there and it was good and that's why we're going to the airport now".

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'When I play football I forget about everything else, it is good for me to play, ' Silva said.

"I know everyone wants to anticipate the situations, when we will win the title".

Again, I keep going back to Stoke's awful recent record against the big clubs and if they are going to lose this game by two or three, possibly more, then it's likely that Guardiola's men will score early. When we face teams who are fighting to stay in the Premier League, it is complicated. He doesn't speak too much but on the pitch, the moment the game is on, he steps forward.

"He believes, 'I am strong, I will come back soon, I will play like I did before the injury.' That is not happening".

Even when City goalkeeper Ederson was forced into his first serious action of the evening, it was from his own player, as Kyle Walker intercepted Butland's long clearance with a deflection the Brazilian was forced to tip over his crossbar.

"David Silva controls the tempo".

"If we try to play football the same way they do then we will be beaten - that's the reality".

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