Mark Hughes is quietly confident Manchester City can banish their away-day blues at Chelsea on Sunday.

City warmed up for their testing trip to Stamford Bridge by claiming a two-goal first-leg lead in their UEFA Cup tie with Aalborg at Eastlands. Coming just eight days after a similar success over Champions League-chasing Aston Villa, it suggests City are starting to find the consistency they have lacked so far this season.

And Hughes said: "We are in good shape confidence-wise, which is what you need when you are playing Chelsea."

He added: "It is going to be a big test for us but it is one we are looking forward to.

"We met them earlier in the season and maybe we weren't quite up to the task. We are a different team now."

So too are Chelsea, or at least they have a different manager who steered them into the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday with a draw against Juventus.

"Chelsea's form has improved recently," said Hughes, a former player for the Stamford Bridge club.

"It has been a good week for them. But it has been a good week for us too and hopefully we can finish it in the right manner."

City will cement a quarter-final place in Europe for the first time in 30 years provided they hold onto the 2-0 lead given to them by first-half goals from Felipe Caicedo and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Given the one-sided nature of the contest, which should have brought City greater reward, it is hard to imagine Aalborg finding a way back into the tie.

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