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Boss set to unleash big guns at Palace

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

There will be no medals handed out at the Palace tonight but the Blues will be hoping to take a step nearer some cherished silverware.

Neil Warnock’s championship side stand between City and a place in the third round of a competition that has already produced two winning entries in the club’s history books.

Boss Mark Hughes is expecting a tough battle against Neil Warnock’s side and he is likely to roll out his big names for the tie at Selhurst Park.

Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure may not have seen too much Carling Cup action while with Arsenal but both are included in a squad that has no fresh injuries from the win over Wolves that continued the Blues unbeaten start to the season and left them the only Premier League club yet to concede a goal.

New signing Sylvinho will not be eligible for the tie because international clearance for the former Barcelona star came through too late for him to figure, but all of Joleon Lescott's paperwork has been completed and the England international could make his City debut.

After losing to Brighton at the first hurdle last season, Hughes is determined that there will be no repeat twelve months on and has already stressed the importance of the competition to his squad .

“There is expectation but we are enjoying that and the Carling Cup is the next match on the agenda,” he said.

“We are looking to do well in the competition especially as we have not got Europe this year so we have one fewer trophy at which to aim.

“It is a difficult tie. We know that any side of Mr Warnock’s will have a certain way of playing and a certain attitude about them which is a reflection of the manager. It is not going to be easy, far from it. We are not going to take the tie lightly.

“We will go there with a strong side. There are two views on these things. You can possibly give game time to guys that need it because we are so early in the season and maybe some of them need  a little bit more actual playing time.

“On the other hand you can say let’s be really strong and hopefully start really well and get the game put to bed and then you make changes and give people opportunities.

“So there are two schools of thought and I know which one I am erring towards.

“Which one? Everyone will find out tonight. We are not in bad shape injury wise. And they have all already been told how important we regard this tie and this competition.”

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