Manchester City vs. Hull City Is a Chance for the Blues to Make Amends
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Manchester City's 3-2 defeat away to Cardiff last Sunday sent ripples of shock through the Blues half of Manchester, but the arrival of Hull City on Saturday lunchtime (UK time) gives them the chance to make it up to their fans.
Was last Sunday's result a blip, or a worrying return to the form that saw the Premier League title return to Old Trafford last season?
Vincent Kompany could be out for up to six weeks with his groin injury according to ESPN, but better news has arrived regarding fellow centre back Matija Nastasic.
That's a relief for Blues fans, as Javi Garcia, shunted into defence alongside Joleon Lescott, looked every inch a midfielder playing out of position in south Wales last Sunday. Nastasic, by contrast, was quietly effective in his debut season at City, but the talismanic Kompany is still a big loss.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini has yet to add a defender to his ranks, despite names like Pepe of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid's Martin Demichelis being bandied about as the transfer window begins to close (it officially "slams shut," as it always does, on 2 September at 2300 UK time).
Steve Bruce, a master of the dark arts of defending as a player, will have taken keen interest in City's problems at set pieces at Cardiff. Pablo Zabaleta was static as Fraizer Campbell jumped to nod home a corner to put Cardiff ahead, with Joe Hart also hesitant.
Campbell took advantage of City's flat-footed approach to increase the lead, and while Pellegrini is sure to have worked on this during the week, Hull and the rest of the top flight know there is a weak point in City's armour.
Kim Bo-Kyung's jinking run into the box ahead of Cardiff's equaliser will have also shown the way to go, but if Hull take the tentative approach that Newcastle United tried for the first match at the Etihad Stadium this season, they're doomed.
The Blues steamrollered the Magpies with a display reminiscent of many over recent years on home soil. Jesus Navas and David Silva enjoyed themselves to set up a comfortable 4-0 win, and if City hit those heights they will sweep Hull aside this week.
But, something similar was expected the last time the Tigers roared over to east Manchester. They did not read the script, and Jimmy Bullard's finger-wagging goal celebration (in homage to manager Phil Brown berating his side on the pitch at half-time in a Boxing Day thrashing the season before) came after the midfielder's penalty had helped secure a draw.
Will Pellegrini shake things up a bit this week? Alvaro Negredo has impressed in his two substitute appearances and may start ahead of Edin Dzeko, despite the Bosnian looking infinitely happier than when Roberto Mancini was in charge last season.
City should have enough in the tank and look good for a comfortable win over Hull.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?