MCFC v Middlesbrough
The City of Manchester Stadium
Saturday 7th Feb 2009
Boro are above the relegation zone by goal difference and boast the worst attacking force in the league. Meanwhile, City boast one of the best.
Mark Hughes said of the game on Saturday: 'It won't be easy because Middlesbrough do get people behind the ball.
'We will have to be patient in the way we approach it and make sure we are able to break them down when we can.
'Obviously that is something we found difficult to do last weekend and we need to be better.
'We have been highlighting things we feel will enable us to make a better fist of it, just in case they do bring everyone behind the ball.'
Manchester City Team News:
Shay Given is expected to make his debut while Shaun Wright-Phillips is available to play after he appealed for more time to answer the charge brought to him by the rediculous FA.
Nedum Onouha is expected to fill in for the suspended Dunne again after his recent solid performances.
Player to watch: Stephen Ireland
People will be looking out for Shay Given but I doubt he will be tested much against the worst attacking force in the league.
I think that this game will present an opportunity for his Irish compatriot Stephen Ireland to shine, as he battles to return to his best.
Middlesbrough Team News:
The return of Didier Digard and Gary O'Neil from suspension could help boost Boro's poor run of form.
Brad Jones is likely to retain his place in goal while at the opposite end of the pitch, Afonso Alves hopes to be recalled.
Jeremie Aliadiere is still sidelined after his injury.
Player to watch: Stewart Downing
Gareth Southgate pulling his hair out as Middlesbrough spurn their chances should make an entertaining spectacle, however, Stewart Downing is Boro's best player by far and City will need to cut out his dangerous crosses.
Match Facts & Stats
Middlesbrough have now gone 12 league games with a victory.
Boro have won 11 league matches against City, more than any other club.
Steve Bennett takes control of this match with 62 yellow cards in 17 games, no reds.
I just can't see where the goals are going to come from for Boro (unless Dunne was playing). City are always good at home and I expect them to turn it on. MCFC 2-0 Boro.
Portsmouth away on Saturday 14th February with a 3pm kick off,