Mark Hughes fired a warning shot at rivals Manchester United ahead of today's first derby match of the season at Old Trafford, saying his Manchester City side arrive as the in-form team. The figures back up his claims: City boast a 100 per cent record in the Premier League with four wins from four games, while United have already lost to Burnley. Hughes was bullish about his team's chances, saying: "Whenever you go to Old Trafford you need to do so with confidence. We cannot be in any better shape on that score. We go there in good heart, knowing you need a bit of luck in key periods of any game.
"I am looking forward to a great game. We are attack-minded and have shown defensive solidity. Maybe we are the form team." City will be without the suspended Emmanuel Adebayor, who was given a three-match ban by the English Football Association earlier this week, but Carlos Tevez could be in line for a surprise, emotional return to his former club after returning to training following a knee injury.
United defender Wes Brown says City will fancy their chances of usurping his team, as well as challenging them for the title, but the champions are not ready to surrender their crown to their cross-city rivals just yet. "They will be confident at the moment with all the games they have won and I am sure they will come at us," he said. "They probably think they can win. But we are still Manchester United and we are going to prove we are the champions."
* With agencies