Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez are both fit and raring to go at Blackburn on Saturday after missing out on international duty this week.
But fellow striker Emmanuel Adebayor has caused some concern in the camp after reporting back from Togo’s match with Angola with a sore groin that will be checked out later today.
Despite that potential blow and waving goodbye to three-quarters of his senior squad at the beginning of the week, boss Mark Hughes is upbeat about the start of the campaign and believes that his men are as well prepared as any of their Premier League rivals.
“All the pre-season games and preparation have been geared towards just one thing and that is the opening contest at Ewood Park,” declared the manager.
“We are chomping at the bit to get going. There is a tangible feeling of anticipation both within in the club and amongst the fans.
“We want to put on a great show for our fans. We needed to address our away form from last season and we have the opportunity on Saturday to start on the front foot. We can make a statement.
“Last season in terms of the total number of Premier League games played by our players we had an inexperienced side. We have addressed that this summer.”
Hughes accepts that there will be neutrals and people within the game who would like to see City fail because of the money that has been spent but he argues that the silent majority would like his men to succeed.
“The way I work and the way my staff works is that we are as prepared as anybody; I will back my staff against any other in the Premier League in terms of preparation,” he went on.
“There is a lot of interest in us and there are lot of people who want us to succeed and just as many who want us to fail; we have to live with that and deal with that. I think that those who have the negative slant possibly have the loudest voices and are given more platforms. I think there are many people who are excited by wondering what we are going to do and whether we shake up the status quo. They are encouraged by that and want us to do well.
“In the end it is about making sure we are the best prepared team in the Premier League.”
Hughes also confirmed that Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov is still part of his plans after it was reported the player was worried about the amount of game time he might get this season.