Preview: Rangers v City
Wednesday 5 August, 7.45pm
City take on Rangers tonight in the first half of a double header against the Old Firm clubs.
Given the ongoing injuries to Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz, expect to see more of Bellamy and Adebayor trying to forge an understanding, unless Hughes goes for a lone striker set-up.
Gareth Barry looks likely to get a run out after recovering from a minor knock and Kolo Toure should get another opportunity to familiarise himself with his new teammates.
Bellamy and Shay Given are the Blues with Celtic connections who can expect a “warm” reception. Both the Glaswegian giants are known for showing a competitive edge in friendlies, particularly against English opposition, even if Rangers didn’t cover themselves with to much glory in the Emirates Cup last weekend.
Arsenal put three past them and it will be interesting to see if we’re able to do something similar. For all the talk of pre season being about building up fitness, it would be nice to see Hughes’ team bang in a few goals and look the part of top four challengers.
Hughes on tonights game:
“We are looking to step up our preparation now. People have tried to read significance into our results so far because of the focus on us, but those games were more about fitness in the grand scheme of things.
“The players are at different levels because some were still playing internationals in June. You have to be conscious of that. Some will have the majority of the game and others will play a part.
“Don’t imagine that playing the Scots means any less to a Welshman than an Englishman! That old Celtic rivalry comes into it. You look at their stadium and their fans, it’s a great place to play and perfect preparation.”
A convincing result would give everyone that little bit more confidence as we try and shake off the memories of last season’s away form.