Team news ahead of Saturday evening’s Premier League clash between Manchester City and QPR
Manchester City put their formidable home record on the line when they welcome former manager Mark Hughes and his QPR side to the Etihad stadium. 28 win and 2 draws in their last home 30 games gives you a measure of the task that awaits Hughes however despite remaining unbeaten so far City have been less than convincing.
A come from behind 3-2 win over Southampton was followed by a 2-2 draw away to Liverpool. A switch to a 3-5-2 formation has seen conceded two goals in each of their games so far this season while they have also conceded the first goals. Stats which will no doubt inspire QPR who also scored two goals on their last trip Manchester in the now infamous 3-2 loss that City claim the title.
QPR suffered an embarrassing loss to Swansea on the opening day of the season and with so many new faces in the line up it will take time for the side to gel. Last weekend’s draw with Norwich away will have given Hughes confidence while a 3-0 win over Walsall in the Capital One cup will also have helped.
The Champions will be without Sergio Aguero, midfielder Gareth Barry and Micah Richards.
Aguero (knee) is not expected back until the Stoke game on September 15th while Barry (abdominal) is still another three or four weeks away from a return despite a recent reserves outing. Richards meanwhile is still struggling with a ankle injury sustained on Olympic duty.
Stefan Savic and Nigel de Jong both left the club for Italy although new signings Javi Garcia, Richard Wright, Scott Sinclair, Matija Nastasic and experience defender Maicon completed a good deadline day for Roberto Mancini.
While none of those signings will be involved on Saturday, the Italian still has plenty at his disposal with the likes of Jack Rodwell, David Silva and Edin Dzeko all pushing for starts following hard working cameo’s against Liverpool.
Mark Hughes was almost a busy man on the final day of the transfer window with a number of major in and out’s at Loftus road. While City may have grabbed the headlines with the capture of Garcia, pundits and fans alike were equally quick to praise the work of Tony Fernandes and his team with moves for young talent Sam Magri, Estaban Granero and Champions League winner Cesar complimented with the shrewd capture of Marseille star Stephen M’Bia
Granero, signed from Real Madrid, is the only member of that trio set to feature on Saturday with the midfielder in line to make his debut after he received international clearance.
Cesar won’t feature as he has not received his clearance in time while M’Bia was signed too late to feature.
Out the door went Joey Barton who completed his move to the South of France while Jay Bothroyd left the club joining Sheffield Wednesday on loan till January while
With the window now closed Hughes can focus on matters on the field and with 12 new signings it could him a while to find his best starting XI.
Hughes will have to plan without Samba Diakite this Saturday due to personal reasons although his absence won’t missed too much with Alejandro Faurlin set to return following a long layoff.
Also making a return to the match day squad is Kieron Dyer and he could feature from the bench.
Manchester City (from): Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, K Toure, Clichy, Kolarov, Nasri, Milner, Y Toure, Rodwell, Silva, Dzeko, Balotelli, Tevez, Razak.
QPR (from): Green, Cerny, Murphy, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Bosingwa, Hill, Nelsen, Fabio, Traore, Derry, Granero, Park, Dyer, Taarabt, Hoilett, Faurlin, Wright-Phillips, Ephraim, Mackie, Johnson, Zamora, Cisse.
Prediction: Manchester City fans will no doubt offer QPR a warm welcome on their return to Etihad however that’s as pleasant as the evening will get for the Hoops. After sluggish displays against Southampton and Liverpool, Roberto Mancini will be keen for an improved and more consistent performance. The 3 at the back experiment could feature again and that could play into the hands of Hughes who will have watched on last weekend as Liverpool harassed and hounded the City backline. The physical presence of Cisse and Zamora could be vital while the return of Faurlin in the middle will add some steel. Rob Green will be out to show that Cesar made the wrong move choosing London as his destination but with Carlos Tevez making a stunning start to the season City should have enough to make Mark Hughes return to Manchester a miserable one. City 3-1 winners.
Irish focus. Brian Murphy will be in the QPR squad but barring injury to both Rob Green and Radek Cerny is unlikely to feature.