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Stadium: City of Manchester Stadium (47,726)
Distance from OT: 5 miles
Position 07/08: 9th
Head-to-head 07/08: 1-2 (h) 0-1 (a)
When do we play them? 29/11 (a) 9/5 (h)
14/08/2008 07:28

League profile: Man City

Blues spend big in the hope of European field trips next term

Headmaster Mark Hughes turned Blackburn into perpetual pests, so expect a steelier side to the Blues this season. Sparky aims to take City to the top table in Europe which is a step up from their last continental voyage – an away goals exit to Polish minnows Groclin in 2003.

Head boy Martin Petrov was City’s creative spark last season, while £19million Brazilian striker Jo could be a real threat.

Maths May’s 8-1 defeat at Middlesbrough was the Blues’ heaviest loss since a 9-1 reverse to Everton in 1906.

English City do their bit for English football with Micah Richards, Joe Hart, Michael Ball, Nedum Onuoha, Daniel Sturridge and Michael Johnson all impressing, plus untested duo Sam Williamson and Shaleum Logan. Oh, and Darius Vassell.

History February’s win at Old Trafford secured City a first derby double in nearly 40 years, but also marked an early end of term, with just 11 points taken from the last 13 games.

Tuck shop item Traditional lemonade. Bitter, murky and flat.

Predicted grade C+ A new manager and fresh signings offer hope, but comedy will find a way of upsetting the apple cart, as always.

Detention Dietmar Hamann’s ageing legs will be best used keeping younger, faster lower limbs from running away.

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