Nedum Onuoha will make his senior comeback tomorrow night in front of a sold out 26,000 crowd at Zayed Sports City when a mix and match Blues side takes on the United Arab Emirates international team.
The contest has generated great excitement in Abu Dhabi where it is being marketed as ‘Our Country versus Our City'.
A recent international against Germany attracted only a third of the audience that will be in the ground for the visit of Mark Hughes’ side – a game that is being streamed exclusively live on www.mcfc.co.uk.
And Onuoha can’t wait for the chance to impress as he attempts to force his way into the manager’s plans.
“I had no ill effects from a run out at Stalybridge last weekend and I am looking forward to getting back into action,” he said before joining the rest of the squad at barbeque staged for hundreds of City fans in the grounds of the Emirates Palace Hotel, the Blues Abu Dhabi base.
“I know I am going to have to be patient because changing a side just on a whim doesn’t always help and the players that are in there capable of clean sheets. Having said that, if the manager puts me in the side I will be more than happy.
I didn’t want last season to end because it was probably my best run of form in the side. I have just got to work hard now and give myself every chance.
"There are always lots of injuries, suspensions and absences during a season and the key is to make sure that when you get into the side make sure you keep the shirt.”
Onuoha’s chance could come in January when skipper Kolo Toure is away at the African Cup of Nations but he knows he will face competition from both Vincent Kompany and Micah Richards.
However, what is also in his favour is that he can also operate in the right back position.
“That is an option for manager,” he agreed. “I have experience in that role but to be honest I would play anywhere the manager asked me to.”
Watch out for an extended exclusive www.mcfc.co.uk interview with Nedum from the team hotel in Abu Dhabi. Coming soon.