Gareth Barry admits to some frustration at facing Stoke yet again on Wednesday night - but the England midfielder believes the repeat meetings could yet work to City's advantage.
The Blues' FA Cup fifth-round replay at Stoke's Britannia Stadium stronghold will be their fourth clash in two months with one of the Premier League's most difficult opponents.
City's 2-0 Boxing Day home victory in Roberto Mancini's first game in charge was followed by a 1-1 FA Cup draw at City of Manchester Stadium and the 1-1 League stalemate away a week ago.
Barry, who scored in the league game in the Potteries, said: "It's a tough game - we know each other inside out now after three games in such a short space of time. We will know what to expect, and we know it's going to be a battle.
"We probably won't need to watch too many videos! The guy who does our research has virtually gone through it all before. But we've got to be on top of our game.
We're going to really have to concentrate. It can be frustrating, because you don't want to keep playing the same team, but that's a part of the game
...Gareth Barry on another trip to Stoke
"And the more we've played against them, the more we've adapted. So hopefully the experience we've got from the previous games can help us on Wednesday night and see us through."
Stoke's unsophisticated style has its critics, but Barry added: "Give Stoke credit, it's the way they win games. Sometimes you have to go down that route.
"We've got to concentrate on our own game. They will be playing in the Britannia Stadium in that atmosphere that they create. That's when we need to call on our experience.
"It's a great reward if you can get through - Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. So there's something there to aim for, but Wednesday night's going to be tough first."