After Manchester City was stunned by Cardiff City 3-2 last week, fans will be looking for a dominant effort as Manuel Pellegrini's crew hosts newly-promoted Hull City.
Manchester City will be pressed to prove that the loss to Cardiff was a blip on the radar and not something that is going to be a trend. Pointing to that possibility is that there were no signs of the malaise that struck Man City last week when they opened up their EPL campaign by toasting Newcastle 4-0.
With that 1-1 record, the clubs enter this match tied in the standings. Hull City impressed last week by beating Norwich City 1-0, and they played the majority of that match with just 10 men. That win followed a tough 2-0 loss to Chelsea and surely gave them some confidence.
Now this feisty group will try to steal at least a point on the road.
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
When: Saturday, Aug. 31 at 7:45 a.m. ET (12:45 p.m. BST)
TV Coverage: BT Sports 1
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Chances (via Bloomberg Sports)
Manchester City: 76.5%
Hull City: 7.8%
Top Storyline: Can Manchester City Quickly Rebound?
Manchester City fans will be anxious to see quick improvement from their squad. While Man City is just two games into its EPL campaign, Pellegrini entered this season with huge expectations on his club.
It's not that everyone expected the transition to Pellegrini be seamless in his first year, but an embarrassing loss to Cardiff’s £35m squad wasn't exactly expected either. A loss at home to Hull City certainly is not expected.
If Manchester City doesn't show quick signs of improvement, Pellegrini's seat could get hot in a hurry.
A big chunk of Manchester City's defensive problems fall on goalkeeper Joe Hart. His form has been such that he has been warned by both Pellegrini and England boss Roy Hodgson that his place with the starters is not guaranteed.
But Hart is too talented not to turn it around, and that will help solidify his squad's defense. Manchester City's potent offense will take care of the rest.
Manchester City 3, Hull City 0