Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday January 18 2013
The Etihad Stadium
City's heavy injury list is easing. Here come Fulham to take part in yet another crucial league fixture for Roberto Mancini's resurgent side...
'I understand that every day newspapers write that another manager wants to take my place because it's a good place. But we work very well here and I have a five year contract.
'Fulham is a good team with good players. In the first game we won in the last seconds. This will be a different game. They won their last away game at West Bromwich and I think they are very dangerous on the counter attack. They also have a manager with big experience...much depends on us and if we show the same attitude we showed at Arsenal.'
'City are out of Europe but they can live with it and can now focus on the league. That is probably one of the advantages they have over other teams like Manchester United...All the top three are fighting for everything...There is not a lot between these top sides. We are unbeaten in January so far, have won two away games, which is pretty good. We had draws against Blackpool and Wigan. That is not alarming.
'If you compare us to last season, I think after Christmas we were unbelievable. If the league was those six months we would have been top five...I feel we are strong enough to get points.'
Yaya Touré - international duty
Kolo Touré - international duty
Abdul Razak- international duty
This is the time for Garcia to kick on from a couple of promising performances in the City engine room, and crucially so. He appears to be finding his English feet. If the tall Spaniard can continue to forge an understanding with David Silva, Gareth Barry and an on fire James Milner, then Yaya Touré's African absence will be all but negated through some key fixtures.
Experienced Northern Ireland international Baird has often played a defensive spoiler role and will be tasked this weekend with breaking up City's edge of the box play. In the Premier League he holds the highest number of interceptions per game averaging 3.6.
THE NUMBERS GAME:
Fulham have won only 3 games of their last 16 across all competitions, keeping only 1 clean sheet.
City warrior Pablo Zabaleta is averaging 1 tackle every 22 minutes at the Etihad this season. 67 in all.
The Blues have won 65 of the last 67 competitive games during which they were leading by 2 goals. The other 2 games ended in draws.
In the Premier League Fulham have visited MCFC on 10 occasions. The record being P10, W3, L3, D4.
HEAD TO HEAD:
League: 25 City Wins, 15 Draws, 15 Fulham Wins
League Cup: 1 City Win, 1 Fulham Win
FA Cup: 1 City Win, 1 Draw, 1 Fulham Win
Total: 27 City Wins, 16 Draws, 17 Fulham Wins
THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME:
Su 21Nov 2010 Fulham 1 - 4 Man City
Su 27Feb 2011 Man City 1 - 1 Fulham
Su 18Sep 2011 Fulham 2 - 2 Man City
Sa 04Feb 2012 Man City 3 - 0 Fulham
Sa 29Sep 2012 Fulham 1- 2 Man City
BETTING: City 1/4 Draw 11/2 Fulham 13 Racing Post Soccerbase
TV COVERAGE: BBC Match Of The Day
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM
CLASSIC CITY TUBE: Edin Dzeko Special
Jonathan Moss from West Yorkshire 4th Official N Swarbrick -Last Season: Did Not Referee Manchester City -This Season: Sa 17Nov 2012 Man City 5 - 0 Aston Villa -2011/12: 32 Games, 112 Yellows, 11 Reds -2012/2013: 18 Games, 44 Yellows, 1 Red.
Johnny On The Spot: The Hunt For Red October resumes following a terrific win at Arsenal. Buoyed by that result, City welcome an out of sorts Fulham for what is surely a home banker? Yet as the rags and City have experienced this season, nobody should be taken for granted, certainly not when the astute and well respected Martin Jol is at the opposition controls. What's mithering this correspondent is that with Kolarov, Rodwell, Aguero and Nasri back in the squad are we going to see a return to selection tinkering? Many Blues believe that City's recent run of solid results and upped team performance has been down to an enforced, settled team selection. Assuming Aguero is a nailed on starter, even with a crunch FA Cup clash at uncompromising Stoke to come next weekend, I'll be disappointed if Mancio chooses to meddle with a side who are flourishing together as they did in last year`s famous run-in. I back that up by pointing to Garcia's growing confidence and situational awareness. That said, City should have enough in the tank to win and win well, especially if they bag an early goal, and goals are something Mancio is intent upon going for in the bid to usurp The Stretfords flying Dutchman. City 4 Fulham 0
all times East Manchester
Sa 26Jan 12h45 Stoke City, The Britannia Stadium, FAC4
Tu 29Jan 19h45 QPR, Loftus Road, PL
Su 03Feb 16h00 Liverpool, The Etihad, PL
Sa 09Feb 17h30 Southampton, St Mary's, PL
Su 24Feb 13h30 Chelsea , The Etihad, PL
Sa 02Mar 15h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Sa 09Mar 15h00 Wigan, The Etihad, PL
Date:Friday January 18 2013
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