Pep Guardiola anticipates a big welcome for his besieged club at the Etihad as he says the Premier League will never be able to take away the trophies Manchester City have won.
They could face a number of punishments if found guilty, including being stripped of their six Premier League titles, four of which have been won under Guardiola.
‘Those moments belong to us regardless of the sentence,’ said the City boss in fighting mood.
‘The Premier League will decide but I know the effort we put in, what we won and the way we won it.
And Guardiola issued what was effectively a rallying cry to the supporters, painting a picture of the other Premier League clubs ganging up on City.
‘It doesn’t matter if we are alone as a club if we are always together when the toughest moments come.
Guardiola believes City’s reputation has been impacted regardless of the outcome of the case brought by the Premier League.
‘It is already damaged [us as a club],’ he said.
‘It [the result of the charges] is not going to change anything.
The UEFA case didn’t change anything [City won their Financial Fair Play case on appeal].
I want to defend our position.
I want to defend my title.
If the players want to come, delighted.
If they don’t want to come, Ok, we play with what we have.’
Aston Villa’s last visit to the Etihad in May saw City clinch the title after fighting back from 2-0 down to win 3-2.