Manchester City await Adebayor verdict

Emmanuel Adebayor today faces a Football Association hearing to answer a charge of improper conduct, with his Manchester City boss Mark Hughes hoping the striker will escape a ban and be available to face Aston Villa on Monday.

The Togo star faces the charge in relation to his controversial goal celebration against his old club Arsenal at Eastlands last month, which received widespread condemnation, including from Greater Manchester Police. His case will be heard by a disciplinary panel at an undisclosed time and location.

City will use the evidence of Gary Neville's goal celebration against them the following week - which did not even bring a charge against the Manchester United defender - as evidence to back up Adebayor's claim he did nothing wrong.

A suspension is possible though, even if Hughes does not believe it is warranted.

"We hope Manu won't get any more matches," he said. "We don't think he should."

If Adebayor is available it would arguably leave Hughes to select from the strongest pool of forward players in the Barclays Premier League.

It is hardly a position that hints at a sudden collapse for a club intent on smashing the top-four cartel.

And even the notoriously pragmatic Hughes admits there is still more to come from his team.

"We are in decent shape and things seem to be falling into place," he said.

"We are playing well - and with confidence.

"I am absolutely convinced we will produce even higher quality football because of the quality we already have and the quality that will be available to us in the future."

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