Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Sunday November 2 2008
2nd November 2008
City will be looking to get their season back on the course that is expected of them after slipping up against their bogey team Middlesbrough when they face bottom club Bolton today.
Mark Hughes talks about the previous game at Middlesbrough: "In fairness, at Middlesbrough we created enough chances to win the game, unfortunately we didn`t score when we needed to.
"When that happens the opposition gets a little bit of encouragement and we`re obviously disappointed with the award of the penalty and felt aggrieved by that.
"Once they got their noses in front they were going to try and protect what they had. That`s been the case on a number of occasions, Wigan springs to mind, a very similar game in many respects."
He then talks about away games in general:"We need to be better away from home," he declared. "We had a fantastic performance at Sunderland but we haven`t really replicated that since. So we need to get back on track.
"We`re trying different things away from home to try and enable us to win the games that we feel we should, although we have still been trying to play attacking football on the road.
'Maybe we have to temper that somewhat on occasion because we have played like a home side at times and allowed the team who are at home to play on the counter-attack.
"In an attacking sense we always look dangerous and look a threat, which is reassuring, I`d be more concerned if we weren`t creating any chances.
"On occasion because of our attacking mindset we`re going to be exposed. Those are the situations that we need to be better at.
'In some respects it is a positive in that the opposition respect the ability and quality we have. But we have to be more adept at taking points from away games.'
Bolton are expected to keep faith with those who tasted heartache against the Toffees in midweek.
Megson has no fresh injury or suspension concerns to contend with and believes his side need a bit of luck in order to kick-start their season.
The only decision facing the Trotters coach is whether to keep Johan Elmander in tandem with Kevin Davies up front or switch the Sweden international back to the right side of midfield.
The powerful striker gives many defences a lot of problems as he wins nearly everything in the air.
Pablo Zabaleta will come back into contention after completing a suspension and will give Hughes a thought as to who will line up across the back four.
The Argentine defender has sat out the Blues' last three fixtures as a result of his dismissal against Liverpool.
He is expected to return at right-back, while Hughes is hopeful that Brazilian striker Jo will be available for selection.
The South American ace has been struggling with a bout of tonsillitis but may be needed by his boss as possible replacement Daniel Sturridge is a doubt with an ankle complaint.
City's long term injuries of Darius Vassell and Benjani are supposed to be close to contention.
His drive from midfield is very important to City and he makes the team tick and allows the likes of Robinho to put pressure on defences.
Both teams have identical records against each other but Bolton have the edge when played at their home. Although since the premiership began the records are identical at Bolton and so the game is really in the balance.
City are unbeaten in four league and cup meetings with Bolton; won two, drawn two and so Bolton will be looking to end that run.
Mike Riley - has been a poor referee for city in the past but more recently has shown to be a reasonably fair but I have said that about a few referee's this season and we have been dealt rather strange hands when it comes to these referee's decision making.
I think Bolton will give us a tough game and I don't think that away from home we are performing to how we need to and so I predict a scoring draw. BWFC 1 - 1 MCFC.
FC Twente in the first round of the group stages in the UEFA cup at the City of Manchester on Thursday the 6th November with a 7:45pm kick off with the game behing shown live on ITV4
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Date:Sunday November 2 2008
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|4. Man Utd||27||14||8||5||+20||50|
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