RICHARD Dunne’s return from suspension will leave City boss
Mark Hughes with decisions to make ahead of the trip to Liverpool on
Sunday.Dunne has missed four games since being sent off in the 1-0 win over
Wigan, but is expected to keep his place after playing in the UEFA Cup draw with
Copenhagen. Hughes must now decide how to balance his back line and midfield
with Nigel de Jong also available after being cup-tied in Denmark.
Given the injuries and suspensions that we have suffered from this season, Mark Hughes hasn't had to face many tricky decisions in terms of personnel choice - with the axing of Elano his only 'big' decision.
As the MEN article points out, he will face a tough one this weekend though. Dunne's performane was solid enough on Thursday, and (especially as he is captain) the defence has not been solid or miserly enough to keep him on the sidelines.
Although Nedum Onouha has come into the side and impressed in what must be his longest continuous spell in the side, you do wonder whether Hughes will take the safe option and drop Onouha to the bench, allowing Dunne to return alongside Vincent Kompany, with Nigel de Jong returning in midfield. This would also allow both Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richrds of course to continue in their respective positions of late.
This would perhaps be harsh on Onouha though, who I do rate as a defender and would like to see get a long stretch of games under his belt. Whilst the squad is not a huge one, there is plenty of options available to Hughes in terms of how he lines up against Liverpool.
If Onouha does maintain his place, this would mean that Voncent Kompany would partner Nigel de Jong in midfield, leaving the final berth being a straight fight between Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards as to who lines up at right back.
There is plenty of call on the forums for Richards to be left out, a fate that has yet to really befall him under Hughes depsite some patchy displays.
It is an interesting call that Hughes faces, and one definitely worth keeping an eye on ahead of Sunday.