Manchester City v Hull City: Match preview

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The resurrection of Newcastle United came at the wrong time horribly for Hull City last week as an effortless squad were destroyed 3-0 where John Carver enjoyed his first victory as Magpies boss.

If Steve Bruce's players are coming to the Etihad Stadium with the same philosophy as they approached last week's game with, then they will be better off not making the journey across the Pennines because it is almost inevitable that Manuel Pellegrini will have drilled the importance of victory into his squad's heads and a Manchester City side at their best are frighteningly dangerous.

Nikica Jelavic could make a return to the sidelines after the Croatian revealed to his boss that he was still feeling the effects from a knee operation in the early stages of January.

Hull City team news

With his possible absence in mind, Sone Aluko or Yannick Sagbo are the likeliest candidates to deputise because deadline day signing, Dame N'Doye, is still awaiting a work permit and remains in Paris.

James Chester and Robert Snodgrass are ruled out of the game with severe long-term injuries whilst Mo Diame edges nearer to a long-awaited return from a stress fracture in his heel. The Senegalese international is understood to have partaken in training activities throughout the week but a place back in the squad isn't guaranteed. 

Bony and Toure miss out for City

Manchester City will once again be without Yaya Toure and their £25 million January signing, Wilfried Bony, who are both still on international duty with Ivory Coast who reached the African Cup of Nations final. 

French duo Samir Nasri and Eliaquim Mangala are expected to make a return to the starting line-up after missing the huge 1-1 draw with Chelsea last week through injury.

The odds are certainly going out of Hull's favour for this game, just like everything else seems to be at the moment for Steve Bruce, and if he is looking for a turnaround in form, it certainly won't come in this game.

Title race

The home side will be desperate to get a victory in the hope that they can keep up with Chelsea in the mouth watering title race. They should have no issues with that as the Tigers have shipped an embarrassing six goals in their last two games. 

Whilst Hull are having problems at the back, there are also issues in the striker department. The visitors have scored in just four of their previous 16 games which offers a sensible explanation for the signing of former Copenhagen forward, Dame N'Doye. He is unavailable for the tie and if Nikica Jelavic is absent, Abel Hernandez will struggle severely.

The only positive heading into the game for the Tigers is that Mike Phelan will be making his debut as assistant manager for the club. He began working under his ex-Norwich City team mate on Monday and is expected to bring plenty of experience and spirit to the side to offer a kick up the backside to the players; something that is desperately needed in East Yorkshire.

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Manchester City
Steve Bruce
Premier League
Hull City

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