Mark Hughes’ Manchester City play, Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at the Eastlands Stadium on Sunday.
City under Hughes and the ADUG are still like City under Eriksson and Shinawatra, with the Eastlands faithful unsure of which side of the Blues they will see on any given day. With Man City going into this clash with a galvanised Tottenham on the back of two successive league defeats to Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle United 2-0, but winning in the UEFA Cup on Thursday. Hughes’ side have looked capable of beating anyone on their day and the new boss will eventually get the balance right in the Blue half of Manchester.
Since the arrival of Harry Redknapp as manager at White Hart Lane from Southampton, Spurs are unbeaten, with the North London club beating Bolton Wanderers and Liverpool and drawing with Arsenal in the Premier League. With Tottenham looking like a completely different side to the team which collected 2 points from their first 8 games in the Premiership under Juande Ramos. Spurs like City also go into this clash on the back of a win in Europe, with Tottenham drubbing Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 in the UEFA Cup on Thursday. However, the North London club still find themselves at the bottom of the table, but under the leadership of Redknapp are not expected to stay there for long.
Hughes is unable to call on Martin Petrov (knee), Michael Johnson (groin) or long-term absentee Valeri Bojinov (calf), but strikers Darius Vassell and Benjani are in contention, with Benjani scoring on his comeback on Thursday in the UEFA Cup.
Redknapp will have to decide whether to put Russian International Roman Pavlyuchenko back in the Spurs starting eleven, who was cup-tied for the match with Zagreb. With Darren Bent finally finding his goal-scoring touch for Tottenham this season after his hat-trick against Zagreb took his tally to nine in all competitions this campaign.
Captain Ledley King should start along with Vedran Corluka, who like Pavlyuchenko was cup-tied in Europe and is set to face his former club. Midfielder Jermaine Jenas could shake off an ankle injury in time, while Gilberto is also a doubt for the trip to the Eastlands. Giovanni is definitely out after picking up an ankle injury on Monday, but Michael Dawson is available again after suspension.
Manchester City: (from) Hart, Dunne, Richards, Zabaleta, Garrido, Hamann, Kompany, Ireland, Elano, Jo, Robinho, Wright-Phillips, Ball, Schmeichel, Mills, Fernandes, Calcedo, Evans, Castillo, Ben Haim, Etuhu, Sturridge, Logan, Glauber, Benjani, Vassell
Tottenham Hotspur: (from) Gomes, Bale, Gunter, Woodgate, Corluka, King, Hutton, Assou-Ekotto, Jenas, Zokora, Huddlestone, Bentley, Modric, Pavlyuchenko, Cesar, Bent, Campbell, Taarabt, Stalteri, Ghaly, Rocha, Lennon, Prince-Boateng, O’Hara, Dawson