Date: 29th October 2008 at 12:56pm
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With City having a bit of a stop start season; they will be looking to build on a fine display against Stoke on Sunday.

Vital Quotes:

Mark Hughes talks about the game that City players played under protest at the Riverside last season: “Obviously I wasn’t here, but it is recent enough to be in the mind of some players but they have the opportunity to wipe that memory away and move on.

“I was beaten 4-1 on that day [by Birmingham], when that result came in it was picked up by everybody. This is a chance to address that and I hope we will be a lot better this time out.”

Mark also talks about the two former academy strikers being apart of the first team: ‘Daniel Sturridge has been part of the team already. He started against West Ham so I’ve shown that trust in him and I think you have to show trust in players.

‘That’s the reason they wear the shirt and the likes of Daniel and Ched Evans have shown me in the short space of time I’ve been here they have the ability to play in the Premier League, so I would have no qualms about starting either of them.

‘It’s been really critical to us that the likes of Daniel and Ched have been an option for me because we could have really struggled.’

Middlesbrough FC Team News:

Southgate could name an unchanged team against City after Tuncay Sanli made his return from injury alongside Afonso Alves, who ended his goal drought at Ewood Park.

With Mido still sidelined with a groin injury, Tuncay and Alves should start again with Jeremie Aliadiere keeping his place on the right of midfield.

Julio Arca is available for selection after an ankle injury and the midfielder could be on the bench after not playing a first-team game since this match last season.

Robert Huth and Justin Hoyte are also unavailable, although the latter could return to the right-back role for Saturday’s clash at home to West Ham United.

Player to watch: Tuncay Sanli

As settled into premiership life very well and has scored his fair share of goals.

Manchester City FC Team News:

City head to the North East on the back of a Robinho-inspired 3-0 win over Stoke City, but Hughes has three main fitness worries for the fixture.

Jo missed the Stoke victory with tonsillitis and is still struggling, while Richard Dunne and Ched Evans were both substituted.

Dunne has been hampered by a chest injury in recent matches and Hughes will assess the defender, who was sent off at the Riverside last term, before kick-off.

Evans set up the first of Robinho’s hat-trick with an intelligent pass against Stoke before being replaced due to a knee injury, so Daniel Sturridge could start.

Hughes is still without Valeri Bojinov, Benjani and Darius Vassell up front, while he will shortly make a decision on whether to book Martin Petrov in for a knee operation.

Michael Johnson still looks to be sidelined as the club’s medical staff look to find out the reasons for Michaels groin and stomach problems.

Player to watch: Robinho

The Brazilian showed that he is unplayable at times and his finishing ability is sublime at times.

Match Facts & Stats

Apart from the end of season aboration City have had the better of Middlesbrough over the recent seasons. However Middlesbrough had an amazing record against us prior to that as even on 30th November 2003 Middlesbrough did not have one shot on target and yet won the game one nil.

Ref Watch:

Lee Mason – he has only referee’d two City matches in total and he has shown to be quite fair in both games so lets see if its three games lucky.

Match Prediction:

City to show that Mark Hughes has got his team playing with more conviction and with the quality we have in attack only Chelsea and Wigan have stopped us scoring more than one goal in a league game. MFC 1 – 3 MCFC.

Next Fixtures:

Bolton Wanderers away on Sunday 2nd November with a 4pm kick off on Sky TV.

 

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