Mancini wary of Fulham threat
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is wary of the threat posed by Fulham, despite the Londoners' recent dip in results.
City have the chance to apply pressure to their rivals as they take on the Cottagers at home a day before leaders Manchester United face a tough test at Tottenham.
Mancini said: "Fulham are a good team, they have good players. When we played them away, we won the game in the last second.
"We played very well and deserved to win but this will be a different game. They won their last game away against West Brom, they are very dangerous on counter-attack.
"Their manager has big experience and he knows he can do well. It depends on us."
City could be boosted by the return of star striker Sergio Aguero for the clash with Martin Jol's men.
The Argentinian has missed the last two games after tearing a hamstring in the New Year's Day win over Stoke.
Forward Samir Nasri is back from suspension and midfielder Jack Rodwell, out since October with the latest in a series of hamstring problems, could be on the bench.
Mancini said: "I am happy because I am sure Jack will be an important player for us in the future, because he is young.
"If we have solved his problem - his hamstring injuries have been often - he will be an important player.
"He will be ready, but probably for 20 minutes, no more."
Midfield linchpin Yaya Toure is on international duty but Micah Richards and fellow defender Maicon are now the only injury concerns.
Meanwhile, Jol does not feel his side are suffering a dip in form despite having won just one Barclays Premier League game since Christmas.
Jol's side visit the Etihad Stadium before facing leaders Manchester United twice in a week - either side of a home game against West Ham.
The Cottagers head into the weekend 13th in the table, but Jol reckons the team are doing well and hopes they kick on in the new year - just as they did last season.
"We are still unbeaten in January," he said.
"We have won two away games at West Brom and Blackpool and two draws against Blackpool and Wigan, so it is not alarming.
"The only thing is if you compare us with last season we had an unbelievable spell after Christmas and if the league had run for six months we would have finished in the top five.
"We would like to bring in one or two players in the next couple of weeks but if not I feel that we are strong enough to get points.
"We had 52 points last year but with different players. For example, Clint Dempsey was scoring all of our winning goals."
Jol has confirmed Dimitar Berbatov will return to his side for the clash.
The striker was rested for Tuesday's FA Cup third-round replay win over Blackpool but Jol has said Berbatov will be named in his team.
Steve Sidwell is also available after recovering from a hamstring problem but both Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Kerim Frei (pelvis) are still missing.