With Carrick gift wrapping City a ticket to the final, this does leave them playing us 4 days before their big day at Wembley. We are due to face City at Eastlands on Tuesday 10th May with the final being held in London on the 14th.
Mancini's already spoken of fatigue amongst his multi-millionaires and, with intense pressure to deliver a truck load silverware within the next few years, Saturday provides a solid platform to deliver their first especially with arguably a surprise opponent in Stoke City.
With Arsenal, West Brom, Chelsea and Blackpool to play before the game at Eastlands, of course, we could be out of the running by the 10th May; but the timing of our fixture at City, I believe, gives us a fantastic advantage to overcome them once more.
We're well in to the business end of the season. City aren't the only one's having to play a cup final this season. We have 7 of them remaining.
Arsenal next. Avoiding defeat is vital.