Any hopes of Carlos Tevez rescuing Manchester City from their striker crisis look certain to be dashed.
City have until 6pm tonight to respond to Emmanuel Adebayor’s violent conduct charge in relation to an alleged stamp on Arsenal striker Robin van Persie at the weekend.
Even if the Blues decide to contest it, the action seems sure to prove unsuccessful given referee Mark Clattenburg has confirmed he would have sent the Togo star off for the challenge had he seen it clearly.
It leaves Adebayor condemned to spend Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford in the stands, along with Robinho, who has already been ruled out with an ankle injury.
With Roque Santa Cruz and Benjani Mwaruwari also missing, Tevez’s recovery from a knee injury suffered on international duty with Argentina 10 days ago was crucial for Mark Hughes’ chances of fielding an orthodox strike partner for Craig Bellamy.
But assistant manager Mark Bowen told www.mcfc.co.uk: “The signs are not encouraging.”