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Premier League

  • 21 November 2010
  • • 16:00
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 25694
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Fulham - Manchester City Preview: Roberto Mancini set to be without England trio as Mark Hughes faces old club

Fulham - Manchester City Preview: Roberto Mancini set to be without England trio as Mark Hughes faces old club

TEAM NEWS

Fulham


Moussa Dembele joins the injury list already populated by Philippe Senderos, Bobby Zamora and Fredrik Stoor. The striker is expected to be out for three weeks having suffered damage to his ankle ligaments.

Full backs Carlos Salcido and Chris Baird are in contention to return though, and Andrew Johnson could be in line to start after returning to first team action in recent weeks.

Possible Starting XI: Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido; Duff, Greening, Murphy, Davies; Dempsey; Andrew Johnson.

Manchester City

Micah Richards, Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott are all doubts following England's friendly defeat by France, but Joe Hart, who picked up a back injury during training for the international friendly, is expected to start.

In attack, Emmanuel Adebayor is doubtful with a heel injury and Mario Balotelli completes his suspension following a red card against West Brom, while Carlos Tevez should be fit to play.

Possible Starting XI: Hart; Boateng, Kompany, Kolo Toure, Kolarov; De Jong, Yaya Toure; Adam Johnson, Milner, Silva; Tevez.

A point to prove

When Fulham line up against Manchester City on Sunday, it will have been slightly less than a year since Mark Hughes was sacked unceremoniously by his former employers from Eastlands following a 4-3 victory over Sunderland.

It was an episode that led Hughes to call his old club 'disrespectful', while others could think of much worse labels to hang on them.

No doubt, as diplomatic as Hughes has been with his choice of words regarding his departure from City, at Craven Cottage on Sunday he will be eager to exact some revenge and fire Fulham up the Premier League. Despite having lost only three games from a possible 13, a preponderance of draws means Hughes's side sit 16th in the table, just one point above the bottom three.

Negative vibes

Hughes's replacement at City and opposite number on Sunday, Roberto Mancini, has come in for criticism of late as his side has struggled to find the net in what some observers have cited as a negative approach.

While the cracks aren't as evident at board level as they were with Hughes, three games without a win - or a goal - would undoubtedly put the Italian on the back foot come Monday morning.

None of that will matter come the end of the season if City manage to secure a top four spot, however. Mancini looks likely to be afforded the time to make that happen too, but a win at Craven Cottage, while apparently not a 'must', is a game the visitors will be expected to win.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
23Mark SchwarzerGoalkeeper
20Dickson EtuhuMidfielder
6Chris BairdDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
5Brede HangelandDefender
3C. SalcidoDefender
29Simon DaviesMidfielder
13Danny MurphyMidfielder
16Damien DuffMidfielder
2Clint DempseyStriker
8Andy JohnsonStriker
13David StockdaleGoalkeeper
2Stephen KellyDefender
8Kagisho DikgacoiMidfielder
22Zoltán GeraMidfielder
-Diomansy KamaraStriker
4John PaintsilDefender
27Jonathan GreeningMidfielder
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
4Vincent KompanyDefender
4Kolo ToureDefender
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
7Striker
21David SilvaStriker
10Carlos TévezStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
38D. BoyataDefender
11Shaun Wright-PhillipsMidfielder
10Emmanuel AdebayorStriker
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
-Patrick VieiraMidfielder
7James MilnerMidfielder
Players to Watch
Andy Johnson
Andy Johnson
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
It has been a long time coming for Andrew Johnson, but the striker's return to the Fulham first team is a welcome sight for fans who have seen very little of the player since he arrived at the club. Now, with Dembele and Zamora injured, Johnson is Fulham's main attacking option and must find form fast if Hughes's side are to take anything from this game.
Carlos Tévez
Carlos Tévez
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After two games without a goal, City need to find the net, and who better to turn to than the talismanic Carlos Tevez. The Argentinian has struggled with injuries and homesickness lately, but from the wealth of attacking talent at Mancini's disposal, no-one seems more likely to drag the side out of a slump than the fiery front man.
Prediction
Both sides are in desperate need of goals but are proving to be extremely resolute and well-organised defensively. There's no question the home fans would be the happiest with a 0-0 draw, but City may just find a way through at Craven Cottage, handing Hughes his first defeat against a side he has previously managed.
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 0

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