The Man City boss Mark Hughes is not expecting Stephen Ireland or Craig Bellamy to be passed fit to face Chelsea tomorrow, and Sean Wright-Phillips will have to have a late fitness test, but with players like Martin Petrov, Nigel De Jong and Robinho waiting in the wings, his team are hardly likely to be any weaker because of it.
“Martin’s back and fit to play,” Hughes said. “He’s had a week’s training now, he was not quite ready for Wednesday but he is available. We just rested Nigel for Arsenal with a view to this game so he is in my thinking.”
Man City may have drawn their last seven league games, but they have still only lost the one game (against Man Utd) all season, which is one less than Chelsea, so Varlo Ancelotti is not underestimating the threat that City could be to Chelsea’s awesome recent record.
“On Saturday we play against a dangerous team because Manchester City have a lot of quality players,” he said.
“They didn’t win for seven games and will want to beat Chelsea because we are top of the table. They will have very good motivation. We have to pay attention to this.
“I think they have a possibility to finish in the top four because they have a very good squad.
“The problem is when you change the squad in the season it is not easy. It is necessary to have time. The work for Mark Hughes has not been easy in the last few months.
“If you take a good player, a top player, it is the faster way to arrive in the top.”
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