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First Team News

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Clean bill of health for Tigers tussle

Only Wilfried Bony and Yaya Toure will be missing from a City point of view when Hull come to town.

Samir Nasri and Eliaquim Mangala have been passed fit and are on the squad list for the visit of Steve Bruce’s struggling side.

Both Frenchmen were last involved for the champions in the 1-1 draw with Everton on 10 January.

“We have no injuries, we have a full squad for tomorrow,” Manuel Pellegrini told assembled reporters at his pre-match press conference.

“Mangala and Nasri are fine and will be in the squad.

“Samir is a very important player for our team but we have also won games without him.

“Samir will be important for the team but we cannot just think that because he can play we will win.”

A bullish Vincent Kompany declared that “five points is nothing” after the draw with Chelsea last time out, referring to the gap at the top of the table.

His manager shares this view and believes that the return to full fitness of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko will see the champions become free-scoring once more.

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“I thought that when you have to play for 45 points more, you can close a five point gap,” he said.

“It’s important for our team to be at the top of the table as soon as we can.

“The only thing we can do is to play at our best level of performance. Other teams will drop points. The last two times this team has won the title, they have come from behind.

“It was not a good January – we made a very good December but January was not a good month.

“We changed our team again as we were without strikers, then they came back and they needed minutes to be fit.

“I suppose that the game against Chelsea will be the switch for our performances.

“I am sure that if we repeat the performance against Chelsea and rediscover our scoring touch at home, we will have a very good last few months of the season.”

Finally, the manager wished his Ivorian duo luck.

Bony and Toure will fight for their first African Cup of Nations title with the Ivory Coast against Ghana in Sunday’s final and the Chilean believes that victory that will only aid City in their aspirations for the rest of season.

“The most important thing for them is to win that cup,” he asserted.

“It’s always positive to win things – especially when you arrive to the final. It’s not easy to shake it off if you lose.

“Ivory Coast deserve to win as they are playing very well and I hope they will do it.”

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