Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Saturday January 3 2009
City of Manchester Stadium
Saturday 3rd January 2009
With City going out at the first hurdle in the League Cup they should be looking at this competition at a chance at domestic honours.
Mark Hughes talks about the game: "It`ll be difficult for us because they are a side that have just changed their manager and have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
"There`s always that thing when a new manager comes in that seems to make a positive impact straight away for a spell.
"They`ve made the change [in manager] and they`ll have a great following and they are club with a big fan base so they`ll be looking forward to a trip to the City of Manchester Stadium."
He then talks about the Forest folowing: "Their following will get behind them, expect them to compete against a Premier League team and they will demand that their team gives them a performance," Hughes added.
"They`re a big club having a difficult time at the moment but they`re a young side that will give the manager energy and determination to try and get something out of the game.
"It gives them the chance to put aside their league woes for one afternoon and try to cause an upset. We`ve got to make sure that doesn`t happen.
"It`s not going to be an easy game for us and we`ll have to approach it in the right manner because we don`t want to be making headlines for wrong reasons come Sunday morning.
"We`ll have to make sure we`re professional and get the job done. We`ve been good at the City of Manchester Stadium and I fully expect us to be again."
Hughes is expected to implement wholesale changes to his side, keen to rest his key men for top-flight tests to come.
That could mean the likes of Robinho, Stephen Ireland and Micah Richards are handed well-earned rests.
City have few fresh concerns to contend with, although Nedum Onuoha will not be risked after complaining of tight hamstrings.
Valeri Bojinov is a long-term absentee and definitely misses out, while Michael Johnson and Martin Petrov are also some way off a first-team return.
The live wire little winger will again want to prove why they were soo wrong to release him saying he was too small.
For Forest, caretaker boss John Pemberton must decide whether to hand recalls to Robert Earnshaw and Joe Garner.
The strike duo were benched at the weekend and saw their team-mates grind out a 3-2 victory away at Norwich.
Kelvin Wilson also sat out that contest with a virus but the club captain is expected to be back in contention against City.
Another man likely to be welcomed back into the fold is Paul Smith, with Lee Camp's return to Queens Park Rangers leaving a void between the sticks.
Brendan Moloney is cup-tied following a loan stint at Rushen & Diamonds earlier in the season, while Julian Bennett and Guy Moussi remain on the treatment table.
The diminuative alien looking Welshman is a real live wire and at times can produce some real quality to score a few goals.
These two teams have not played each other much in recent years; but City hold an unbeaten run stretching back to 1997.
However Forest hold the upper hand in the meetings in the FA Cup winning three of the four matches.
Lee Probert - has not been in the black for either team before. His record this season is no red cards except two in one match.
I think Nottingham Forest will play well but City are very strong at home and I cannot see past a City victory. MCFC 3 - 1 NFFC.
Portsmouth away on Saturday 10th January with a 3pm kick off.
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Date:Saturday January 3 2009
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