Emmanuel Adebayor could find himself relegated to the bench for Sunday’s visit of former club Arsenal.
The striker, who scored his first City hat-trick against Lech Poznan on Thursday, may have to again play second fiddle to Carlos Tevez as Roberto Mancini is expected to bring back a whole host of stars that missed Thursday’s win.
Mancini will also be aware of the scenes which marred City’s 4-2 win over he Gunners last season, when Ade ran the length of the pitch to celebrate City’s third goal in front of the visiting supporters, which led to some unsightly scenes from the Arsenal fans.
A win for City will consolidate the blues in second place and keep the pressure on Chelsea, who beat Wolves 2-0 on Saturday at Stamford Bridge. A win for the Gunners could see them overtaking the blues, while a defeat of two goals or more will push the North Londoners into sixth place.
Mario Balotelli could be included amongst the substitutes. The £23m striker has only managed 33 minutes of action in a blue shirt, which came in August at Timisoara in the Europa League qualifiers. Jo made an appearance against Poznan on Thursday but suffered an ankle injury, while Kolo Toure is struggling with a hamstring injury. Aleksander Kolarov is still out.
Arsenal have a few selection problems going into the match. Last season’s villain, Robin van Persie, is spared from the City crowd after suffering an ankle injury, while Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and goalkeeper Manuel Almunia are also injured. Jack Wilshere starts a three match ban but Bacary Sagna, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner all return.
City (from): Hart, Given, Boateng, Richards, Zabaleta, K Toure, Kompany, Lescott, Bridge, Milner, Barry, De Jong, Y Toure, Vieira, Wright-Phillips, Silva, A Johnson, Tevez, Balotelli, Adebayor, Jo.
Arsenal (from): Fabianski, Clichy, Squillaci, Djourou, Eboue, Nasri, Song, Fabregas, Arshavin, Walcott, Chamakh, Szczesny, Denilson, Rosicky, Bendtner, Diaby, Gibbs, Lansbury.
City (Last five): DWWWW
Arsenal (Last five): WDLLW
Prediction – City 2-0
I think the battle will be won or lost in midfield and, despite Fabregas, I think City will have the edge.
Agree with this prediction? Have your say on how you think the game will go.
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