Manchester City face a striker crisis for Sunday's derby after the Football Association today confirmed an immediate three-match ban for Emmanuel Adebayor.
The Togo international admitted a charge of violent conduct brought after the stamped on his former Arsenal team-mate Robin van Persie's head.
Adebayor is now ruled out of City's match at Old Trafford and he will also miss home games in the Carling Cup game with Fulham and West Ham in the Premier League.
The suspension leaves manager Mark Hughes likely to be without four strikers against Manchester United - Roque Santa Cruz, Robinho and Carlos Tevez are all struggling with injuries.
It leaves Hughes looking as though he will have to rely on Craig Bellamy and Benjani Mwaruwari up front.
Adebayor could face an even lengthier ban is he is found guilty of a separate charge of improper conduct, brought after the former Arsenal player ran the length of the pitch to taunt Gunners fans with a goal celebration.
The FA said in a statement: "A regulatory commission today considered the charge of violent conduct issued against Manchester City's Emmanuel Adebayor under the fast-track disciplinary procedure following an incident with Robin van Persie during their fixture against Arsenal on the 12th September.
"Taking into consideration Mr Adebayor's acceptance of the charge of violent conduct the regulatory commission have ordered that he serve a three-match suspension from all football, commencing Thursday 17th September.
"A separate charge of improper conduct will be considered at a later date."
City may contest the improper conduct charge - they have until September 30 to respond to that allegation.