Manchester City Vs Everton, Sat 24 Sep 2011

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Manchester City:
Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Barry, Silva, Nasri, Aguero, Dzeko.

Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman, Rodwell, Fellaini, Osman, Neville, Cahill.

Kolo Toure has revealed his bond with Manchester City is stronger due to the backing he received during his six-month drug ban.

Toure was appointed skipper by manager Roberto Mancini for his return to action in Wednesday's Carling Cup clash with Birmingham.

He marked the occasion by making one crucial clearance off the line and almost grabbed a goal near the end as he accompanied Carlos Tevez on a forward break.

Now Roberto Mancini must decide whether the Ivorian's body is up to facing Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. After what he has been through, Toure has plenty of patience.

And at a club where players are often accused of joining purely for the financial rewards on offer, the 30-year-old has found joy in different areas.

"The support I have received has been unbelievable," he said.

"The City fans were always asking when I would be back. Having the fans behind you is special. I have a stronger connection than before.

"You find out who your friends are in the hard times. And this club has shown that they really like me."

Mancini must decide whether to keep Toure in his starting line-up against the Toffees, who head into the encounter boasting an excellent record against City having won seven of their last eight meetings.

Everton manager David Moyes is not about to start take that statistic for granted, though.

"If you mention it, I'll smile, because we don't have records like that against so many big teams, but it is just one of those things," Moyes said.

"I don't take it for granted and I'm not looking at it, because you could quite easily tell me that we have a terrible record against lots of teams.

"I would shrug that aside and I'll shrug this aside as well - although obviously, I'm going to try to continue it."

Moyes feels City are now considerably stronger than the side Everton twice overcame last season

Indeed, he has suggested Mancini's men are genuine title contenders after another summer of impressive spending.

"Last year it was much tougher and I think this year it will be even tougher again," Moyes said.

"I think there is a real chance of them competing with Manchester United, Chelsea and some other teams at the top to win the league, although I would say that with what they have bought, you would expect it as well.

"If you spend that sort of money you would expect to be very close, and I think they will be. It is like going into a gun fight when I've got a knife, so I have to find a way of using that right."

Moyes is likely to restore several players to his first XI.

Tim Howard, Sylvain Distin, Leon Osman and Tim Cahill were all left out of the team that started the Carling Cup third round victory over West Brom on Wednesday and are set to return.

Louis Saha - who has missed the last four games and been working on his fitness - vented his frustration on Twitter last weekend at not being selected for the squad to face Wigan and his chances of featuring against City remain unclear.

Victor Anichebe (groin) is injured and new signing Marcus Hahnemann is not part of the squad heading to Manchester.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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