Emmanuel Adebayor will miss the Manchester derby after not appealing against the violent conduct charge lodged against him by the Football Association. Adebayor had until 6pm yesterday to respond to the charge and in "reluctantly" accepting it, has effectively conceded to a three-match ban.
The FA's disciplinary panel will formally sit in judgment today. But the punishment for such offences is automatic and it seems unlikely there will be any change in that stance.
Now City await the FA's punishment in the case of Adebayor's celebration in the same game, which took place in front of Arsenal's fans. The player has been charged with improper conduct though the club may appeal the penalty rather than the charge. If Adebayor's ban is extended for that offence – a one-game extension is possible – then an appeal is highly likely. The lesser punishment of a fine is a verdict City would probably be prepared to accept. The club are unaware precisely when the FA will rule.
The FA's penalty is expected later this week in the case of Nathan Tyson, who brandished a flag at Derby County's fans after scoring for Nottingham Forest in the east Midlands derby. There is a feeling that the similarity of the cases may tell City more about what further penalty Adebayor might be facing.
There is some optimism in the City camp that Manchester United's Gary Neville was fined £5,000 for a similar offence in a match against Liverpool at Old Trafford in 2003. But the FA do have the power to suspend players for such behaviour.
Providing the FA confirm a three-match ban today Adebayor will miss the encounter with United on Sunday, the Carling Cup tie with Fulham next Wednesday and a Premier League meeting with West Ham on 28 September.
Any additional suspension would start with the trip to Aston Villa, which would rule the player out of domestic action until 18 October, when City travel to local rivals Wigan. Mark Hughes is therefore facing a striker crisis this weekend, with only Craig Bellamy of his front-line forwards likely to be available.
Robinho, Roque Santa Cruz and Benjani have already been consigned to the injured list and Carlos Tevez is rated extremely doubtful to face his old club.
In addition, City had something of a scare over Micah Richards earlier this week when the young defender was forced to miss two days' training after going down with a bout of tonsillitis. But Richards' symptoms have now eased, which should allow the 21-year-old to face Sir Alex Ferguson's side.