Men's Team

Gundogan: Stoke will make life difficult for us

TOUGH TEST: Don't take Stoke for granted, says Ilkay Gundogan
Ilkay Gundogan says the season is too young for the Premier League to give an accurate reading.

The German midfielder is hoping to play some part of City’s game against Stoke this weekend and believes Mark Hughes’ side are more than capable of making life tough for the free-scoring Blues.

“I think it’s far too early to judge any side yet because we’ve only played seven games,” said Gundogan.

“We’re scoring goals, performing well and playing good football but it’s such an early stage and there is such a long way to go. Whether you play the second side in the table or against 18th, there isn’t a lot of difference.

“We will go into the game and prepare as we do for every match and treat it seriously because we are on a great run and we want to keep tat going for as long as possible.”

Ilkay says the competitiveness of the English top flight is something no league in Europe can boast.

The former Borussia Dortmund star believes every game has the ability to entertain and surprise, making the Premier League unique in world football.

“From my experience, the Premier League is harder than the Bundesliga,” he said. “The Bundesliga has many great players, clubs and managers, but I think it’s just tougher here – that is just my personal opinion.

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“I could watch a game between Stoke and Southampton and anything could happen at any point, so I enjoy it more. If two mid-table sides in the Bundesliga play each other, chances are one piece of brilliance may settle the game, but a lot of the action will be between the boxes. Here, more happens in the boxes and as I say, at any time, everything is possible.

“I know Stoke are uncomfortable to play against and I know English people often refer to playing Stoke away as one of the toughest games of the season.

“My friend, Eric Maxim Choupa-Moti is there now and they have other talents like Xherdan Shaqiri, so they have quality and though I expect their first aim to be to defend, they will play football as well if they are allowed.

“We have to be on our game from the word go and be at our best because we want to keep our good form going as long as possible.”

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