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Chris Hughton gives his assessment of Manchester City as we prepare to travel to Eastlands in the Barclays Premiership on Sunday.

Chris Hughton gives his assessment of Manchester City as we prepare to travel to Eastlands in the Barclays Premiership on Sunday.

MANCHESTER City is proving a tough place to go this season.

I have to say I've always seen them as a free-flowing team, so for them to have this defensive record at home - one goal conceded in seven games - is all praise to them, but at the same time I'm a little surprised because of the style of football they've always played.

It's very much a 4-4-2 system. The changes we anticipate include Bernardo Corradi after he was sent off in the last game, so he's suspended, while both Mikah Richards and the goalkeeper Nicky Weaver were injured and had to come off at United. Most of us hope Weaver's is just a minor injury because he's been through a fair amount with injuries.

The consistency comes via the two central defenders in Richard Dunne and Sylvain Distin. I know Dunne well from my time with Ireland, he's no-nonsense and a lot quicker than people give him credit for. City certainly know his value and made him captain and that's brought him on as an individual. There will be changes in the full-back position if Richards doesn't make it but it must be satisfying to be in a back four with that record at home.

In midfield you've Claudio Reyna, Stephen Ireland, a very good footballer and Joey Barton, who in many ways is an under-rated player because he's had a few problems and they have been highlighted more than the obvious quality he's got in there. He's a player I rate very highly. Hatem Trabelsi has been on the right and they've always got the option of Paul Dickov up front with Darius Vassell.

It will be a difficult one for us and when I look at our form away from home we've got to start again somewhere and hopefully this will be the one.