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'Proud' Whelan ready to face former club City

The midfielder, who signed a new deal until 2017 last month, came through the youth ranks in the blue half of Manchester.

And, in the continued absence of Ryan Shawcross, he will wear the captain's armband when his ex-employers visit the Britannia Stadium.

"It's a proud moment, a special moment, for myself. No-one can take this away from me," he said in quotes reported by the Stoke Sentinel.

"Obviously Ryan is missing and he's been a man mountain for this team ever since I've been here and trying to emulate him is big shoes to fill, but hopefully I've done it a bit.

"Obviously they are champions and have some top-quality players, but playing at home against one of the big boys is what we all want to do.

"We always seemed to have done alright against them and that's obviously where I first started out.

"I've got a lot of time for the people there, but come Wednesday we are looking to put in a performance and get a result."

Stoke, who claimed a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United on Sunday, have not lost at home to Manchester City in the Premier League.