Hughes can become Mancini’s executioner
There are still more than a handful of people around Eastlands who believe Mark Hughes should still be in charge of Manchester City, so the irony that he could nail Roberto Mancini's coffin shut won't be lost.
For the first time since his acrimonious departure Hughes has the chance to hurt the hand that used to feed him and his chances of achieving it appear to be good.
Man City have been astonishingly average under coach Mancini this season despite a bumper summer that brought in the likes of Mario Balotelli, David Silva, Yaya Toure, James Milner and Jerome Boateng.
Money can't buy instant success it seems though and while they're still in touch with the championship contenders nobody has been fooled into thinking they're a true Premier League heavyweight.
The obvious problem has been a lack of goals with just three in the past five league games.
You can point to Tevez's injury worries and Balotelli's suspension but the more likely reason comes in the form of the negative tactics that has seen them play three defensive midfielders in virtually every game this season.
Adam Johnson, Silva and Adebayor could walk into virtually any team's starting eleven apart from City's with Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong and Yaya Toure being the preferred options.
It all goes to say that if Mancini sticks to his principles then their chances of breaking down Fulham's doors at Craven Cottage are limited.
The Cottagers might not be flying but at home they're solid to say the least having conceded just six goals and falling to a single loss - caused by a Tom Huddlestone wonder strike.
Unless something drastic happens then it seems highly unlikely City will be joining Tottenham as Craven Cottage victors with Fulham looking the bet at 21/10.
Mark Hughes, unlike Mancini, knows how to fire his troops up so watch out for Fulham to come flying out the traps with Damien Duff and Clint Dempsey sure to see plenty of the action.
Andy Johnson is yet to find the back of the net this season but we all know how dangerous he can be in and around the box and he'll be given the task of testing Kolo Toure to the full - he'll need to be at his best as well given the injuries to Bobby Zamora and Moussa Dembele.
At 7/1 Johnson looks a bit too short to back on the first goalscorer market, especially since goals could be at a premium, however I expect him to be a constant hindrance that can provide space and time for the midfield to get involved.
As for City's scoring options you can't look anywhere but Carlos Tevez.
Tevez, for me, has been City's only bright spark this season and despite being substituted through injury last week he should get the nod, probably in a now accustomed lone striker role.
We know he can play that role as well as anybody but if he doesn't get the service then it could be Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes are in for an easy day - put it this way I'm preferring the 2/1 about a home team clean sheet than the evens about Tevez scoring.
It's easy to dig into City but the truth is it's hard seeing them scoring as things lie and I really fancy it'll be three games without a goal, with the 15/2 about a 1-0 Fulham win looking generous.
And who knows, if Fulham do take the points it could be that Mark Hughes becomes the man to end Mancini's time in Manchester.