It has almost been a year since Mark Hughes was sacked as manager of Manchester City. At the time his City team did not have the requisite consistency in order to give the club’s hierarchy the Champions League football it demanded.
As Hughes, now manager of Fulham, welcomes his former club to Craven Cottage, current City incumbent, Roberto Mancini, finds himself under a similar pressure that befell Hughes last year.
Although City sit fourth, three points clear of the chasing pack, Mancini must feel like his team owe him a big performance. A gritty win away from home against an obdurate Fulham outfit might be just the tonic for some fans who have begun to get on the back of the former Inter Milan boss.
City will have to wait anxiously to see if Joe Hart is fit after injuring his back on international duty and Fulham, who need points in order to steer clear of the relegation places, will hope that the week between fixtures will have given Andy Johnson enough time to recover from his first start in nearly two years.