VMC Preview: The Blues v The Tigers
The City of Manchester Stadium
Saturday, 28th November 2009
Eastlands Expects. Before upcoming massive games, City prepare to welcome a fiesty Hull side who on current form will to not go so meekly into the night as they did last season
'We need to address our away results. The Burnley game springs to mind, but we've been to Chelsea and could have got a draw but conceded in added time. We put in a good first half performance at Sunderland and then threw it away. So the away form hasn't been poor, but the results have been. We need to address that at Eastlands on Saturday with the confidence we've taken from the last three games at home.'
'It's a big week for us - we have some massive games coming up. We've all been waiting so long at this club for a trophy on the table. But it's very important that we get back to winning ways. We're very frustrated at the moment because of the draws on the board - we've been in winning positions and we've played some really good stuff at times, but individual errors have cost us. We can't let the gap get too big. We have to keep it nice and tight and see where it takes us in the New Year. What we're looking for is continuity over the season. It must be remembered we're still a new team gelling together. The game against Burnley was only the second time that back four had played together over 90 minutes.'
Manchester CITY Team News:
Robinho. This game could well be all about Robinho. Will he start? Will he come on from the bench? Mark Hughes knows he needs to change the station a little by tuning in a fresher approach and the quicksilver Brazilian could be the answer.
Etihad Player of The Month for October Martin Petrov remains internationally knee knacked.
Other than that, Sparky's 25 man senior squad has a clean bill of health.
Player to watch: Robinho
He's back and it could be with a bang. Talk around SportCity and Planet Blue's forums has been of City starting at Hull with Adebayor, Bellamy and Robinho in a triple terror attack.
Hull City Team News:
The rested Jimmy Bullard returns for Phil Brown's suddenly resurgent side.
Player to watch: Stephen Hunt
I'm not a Hunt fan, most notably for some of the filthy challenges he sometimes puts in but if you were in the trenches, the Irishman is the type of battler you'd want alongside you. He was influential in Hull's midweek win over Everton and must be shackled. Hull's MCFC Nemesis Stephen Ireland in particular will have marked his card.
Match Facts & Stats
There have been 5 home wins in the last 6 games contested between Hull and The Blues.
Superman Ireland scored 3 times against Hull in the last campaign.
City have scored 34 goals in 15 home games since last Christmas.
Only one side has won a league game at Eastlands all season. Fulham.
Lee Probert, Gloucestershire Mr. Probert reffed right across the English league and cup competitions last season and took charge of two City horror shows. The 0-3 FA Cup humiliation against Forest and the abysmal defeat at Pompey. Not a prolific card flourisher. He only sent of 4 players last season and so far 2 in the same game between Villa and Everton. Current Season Record: Games 10, Yellow Cards 36, Red Cards 2
This will not be an easy task. Forget last December's massacre going into this one. Hull have amassed more points at home than they did all last season and although not getting results away are in their highest league position of the season. The onus is absolutely upon City to go after them from the off and get the job done. Sparky was riled by criticisms of negativity at Anfield and the word at Carrington is that he is priming the side to tear into Hull. He will also be mindful of the fact that anything less than a win will be unacceptable going into next week's thunderous clashes with Arsenal and Chelsea. I believe that if The Blues can score early, this time there is a chance everything will click and the goals and a clean sheet will come. Johnny On The Spot: CITY 3 Hull 0
H: Arsenal, LCQF Wed 02 Dec 1945 GMT
H: Chelsea, Sat 05 Dec 1730 GMT