Defending champions Manchester City will be desperate to end their run of three Premier League games without a win on Saturday as they travel to the KC Stadium to meet Steve Bruce’s Hull City, who’ll be looking to pull off an upset and get their second victory of the campaign. Both teams are coming into this game on the back of draws; the Tigers drew away at Newcastle 2-2 while City fought back from a goal and a man down to level things up against Chelsea 1-1 at the weekend.
Manchester City lost Vincent Kompany to a red card in the opening ten minutes of the game, but went on to win 2-0 thanks to the creative talents of David Silva and a masterclass in defending by Martin Demichelis and Javi Garcia.
Steve Bruce is still without Robert Snodgrass, who suffered a dislocated kneecap on his debut for the club against QPR. Samir Nasri and Fernando have been ruled out of Saturday’s clash, with Stevan Jovetic’s situation set to be assessed before the game. Pablo Zabaleta also returns after his one-match suspension saw him sit out City’s 7-0 demolition of Sheffield Wednesday in their Capital One Cup tie.
City’s current tally of three games without a win is their worst run of form since the 2008-09 season.
The two teams first met in October 1909, with the Blues winning that encounter 2-1.
Manchester City’s win at Hull last time out was their first victory there since 1970.
Head-to-head: MCI:11BAY:5 D:7
Hull City – Hatem Ben Arfa
The attacking midfielder on loan from Newcastle will be looking to make an impression at his new club, and Hull will rely on his creative talents to help unlock City’s defense. His link up play with Gaston Ramirez could be crucial to Steve Bruce’s side if they hope to create chances against a robust City defense; he can be a constant menace in between the midfield and defensive lines and his midfield battle against Fernandinho and an out-of-sorts Yaya Toure will largely dictate how this game will play out. He’ll be out with something to prove having started last season with a bang before eventually dropping off the radar, so he can be a key player against the Blues on Saturday.
Manchester City – David Silva
Manchester City’s little wizard was an absolute maverick the last time these two teams met, almost singlehandedly digging City out of the hole they’d dug themselves into with Kompany’s red card; his superbly taken goal and assist were vital as City marched on in the title race after these two teams met last season. It is likely he’ll start in the No. 10 position behind either Sergio Aguero or Edin Dzeko, or possibly on the left flank if Pellegrini decided to play with two up front. Either way, City will look to him to provide the creative edge they’ve been missing over the last few fixtures, and how Silva performs alongside Milner and Navas, two out-and-out wingers, will play a huge role in City’s bid to end the rut they currently find themselves in.
Projected Starting XIs
Manchester City: 4-2-3-1: Hart – Zabaleta,Kompany,Mangala,Clichy – Toure,Fernandinho – Navas,Silva,Milner – Aguero.
Hull City: 4-3-3: McGregor – Elmohamady, Davies, Dawson, Robertson – Diame, Huddlestone, Livermore – Ramirez; Hernandez, Ben Arfa.
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The Citizens will look to carry their League Cup form into the Premier League after a tough set of results over the last two weeks and with one eye on Roma, Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping to kill the game off early and rest some of his key players.
Hull City 0-2 Manchester City