Joe Hart looks set to face Fulham after shaking off the back spasm that prevented him from playing for England in midweek.
City’s first-choice stopper was forced out of the friendly against France at Wembley, but after he reported back to Carrington Roberto Mancini has been reassured that the 23-year-old does not have a serious problem.
“We will have another look at Joe today, but I think he will be available for Sunday. It was a worry when we first heard he had a problem but now I hope that he can play," reported the manager.
“If not we would have played Shay, which would not have been a problem for us at all. We need to have a strong squad, and at times like this when you have a slight injury to a player it’s good to know we have someone so good to come in if we need them.”
Thursday saw the City squad reconvene after a sizeable chunk of it had been scattered around the globe on international duty and the boss is grateful for an extra day’s preparation to iron out some minor knocks and jet lag.
“There are a few little problems with quite a few of them, but that will always happen when you have so many playing internationals," he declared.
“There was nothing serious, and it’s better that this time we have the extra day.
Playing Wednesday then Saturday is very difficult, so playing on Sunday will be better for us. It’s hard for some players having travelled so far to play and only for friendlies but everyone looks OK.
After two successive scoreless draws at home, Roberto is targeting a return to winning ways and is hoping that City can be as positive as they were during their last away fixture, the 2-0 win at the Hawthorns.
“We always play to win, but a draw is better than losing. We made a lot of chances against Birmingham in the second half, and sometimes you’ll score but against Birmingham we could not. I’m happy that we are making the chances, but in the end I prefer 0-0 to 3-3.
“It will be difficult on Sunday, they are strong at home but we will be going to win. We must be patient, but maybe with us being away we may have more space than at home. We played well in our last away game at West Brom, and we must look to play like that this week. “