Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Sunday September 28 2008
28th September 2008
City travel to Wigan today a venue that they have notoriously struggled at. City will also need a pick me up after being dumped out of the cup on penalties at Brighton on Wednesday.
Mark Hughes talks about today's opponents Wigan: "If you look at their performances they are a touch unfortunate to have the points they have, you could argue that they should have had more.
"We're under no illusions, they are a big, strong and powerful side. The centre forward Zaki has come in and looks like a good foil for Emile Heskey, who has always given my teams in the past a bit of trouble. I have a healthy respect for the way they are playing at the moment, and it will be a test for us.
"We'll be near enough at full strength, and we'll look to build on the performance we were able to produce against Portsmouth - and put aside the one we produced against Brighton."
Mark then goes on to talk about Steve Bruce: "He's coached and managed at different levels and achieved promotion on several occasions, and I have the greatest respect for what he has done. It's always a big challenge going up against Steve."
Wigan boss Steve Bruce signalled his intent by naming a strong side for the Carling Cup clash and thus there are expected to be only minimal changes for the visit of City.
Jason Koumas was named on the substitutes' bench in midweek but his early season displays could see him edge out summer signing Olivier Kapo to start.
The same could be said of Maynor Figueroa, who will come in at the expense of Kevin Kilbane.
Otherwise, Bruce is likely to stick with those that have performed well to date despite picking up just five points from as many Premier League games this season.
The Egyptian international has started his premiership career off with a bang and I expect him to be a real handful for City's defence.
It will be a much altered City side from the one that played on Wednesday that will play at The JJB as Mark Hughes turns to those that so impressed in putting Portsmouth to the sword. An adventurous midfield that includes playmaking duo Stephen Ireland and Elano, along with the rejuvenate Shaun Wright-Phillips will be anchored by Vincent Kompany - who has excelled since joining the club prior to the close of the transfer window.
Robinho has already found his feet upon moving to England on transfer deadline day from Real Madrid, and will be paired alongside Jo, another Brazilian who is starting to show his ability following a big-money switch.
While City were woeful at the Withdean, Wigan were ruthlessly efficient on their travels to Ipswich as they came away from Portman Road with a 4-1 win.
City still have a few long term injuries
The Brazilian has skills that you pay to come and see. His display against Portsmouth were a joy to watch and make being a City fan very exciting.
Wigan have a real who doo over City at present and have never been beaten by City in the premiership and Cityhave only one once in the league in four attempts and that was courtesy of a solitary Shaun Goater goal in October 1998 in Division two at Springfield park.
Steve Bennett - interesting his last City game for City was the home fixture against Wigan which ended nil nil. Always been quite a fair referee for City.
Wigan are a very difficult team to beat and have some real attacking threats. I think that both teams will score but that who doo will continue and the game to end in a draw. WAFC 2 - 2 MCFC.
FC Omonia at the City of Manchester Stadium on Thursday 2nd October with a 7:45pm kick off.
Date:Sunday September 28 2008
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