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Mancini's Boost & Possible City Team for the Derby

Mancini's Boost & Possible City Team for the Derby

After Tottenham's memorable victory over Arsenal last night at White Hart Line, the pressure is back on City after the 'Arry's men moved to within one point of the Blues. City play United on Saturday in probably the most important derby for about 20 years. Spurs also have a very tough fixture at the weekend; with a game against Chelsea, again at White Hart Lane. But a win for City against The Rags would be absolutely huge in terms of team confidence, a points advantage and bragging rights for the City faithful. But a loss for Mancini's men and a win for Spurs against Chelsea would see the latter leap-frog City into the coveted 4th spot.

Today, Roberto Mancini revealed that he could have up-to four players back for the crucial Derby match at the weekend:

'We will have Pablo Zabaleta available again following his two-match ban and possibly Stephen Ireland, Patrick Vieira and Wayne Bridge, too which is very good news for us,' he revealed. 'I am very pleased they are back in training and we will see how things go this week, but we won`t be naming our team until Saturday morning, of course.'

'The team has been playing very well, but as I`ve said before, we can get better and we know that we have to be at our best to beat Manchester United and again in our remaining games after that.'

Obviously, this is good news but realistically, I can only see one of these players mentioned starting the Derby. Nedum Onouha has really impressed at right-back after the suspension of Pablo Zabaleta and the injury of Micah Richards. This means that it is pretty likely that he'll be starting come Saturday. As for Ireland and Vieira, they will also struggle to come straight back into the team after the recent form of Gareth Barry. Barry's been brilliant in recent weeks; picking passes and making late darts into the box, almost Ireland-esque. de Jong's almost guaranteed to start after purposely being rested for these matches and the fact that he's a 'big game player' anyway.

However, Wayne Bridge is expected to return to the starting line-up after another spell on the sidelines. Bridge was in very good form before developing a hernia, in recent weeks the left-back spot has been occupied by Javier Garrido who has done a good job in the absence of the England International. If Bridge is fully fit, then I expect he'll start the match because he's easily our best left-back as he helps support Bellamy when attacking and is fairly solid defensively.

I've also heard news that Adam Johnson is ill, throwing the chances of playing in his first Manchester Derby into doubt. But I've heard it's just a stomach bug so fingers crossed, he'll be fit and firing come Saturday to run rings around Patrice Evra.

With all this in mind, I expect Mancini to opt for this line-up:

City Line-Up:


1) Given
4) Onouha - 28) Toure (c) - 33) Kompany - 3) Bridge
11) A Johnson - 34) de Jong - 18) Barry -39) Bellamy
32) Tevez - 25) Adebayor

What team do you think Bobby will opt for?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday April 15 2010
Time: 6:09PM


Im happy with that team tbh ... sounds good :)
15/04/2010 18:21:00
I hate to say it but I think you will win this game.
15/04/2010 19:03:00
I have no problems with this team line up.
Super City Slicker
15/04/2010 21:31:00
Thats the team i've guessed for my predicition :D so have no problems there. It's an attacking team that will cause the rags tons of problems
Once A Blue
15/04/2010 21:39:00
Good luck with your derby game. Be nice to see a different team at the top for a change. Pity you are the only ones going to squeeze into top four in place of the usual fare..
SFC Forever
15/04/2010 21:52:00
That's my team Scragg - AJ did a full training session yesterday so things are looking good.
16/04/2010 00:45:00
Would have guessed the same line-up. Lets hope we can continue in the same vein and secure a massive 3 points.
16/04/2010 02:10:00
Cheers, SFC. I think bringing Bridgey back woudl be fantastic because good going forward as he is, Javier was leaving holes for Toure and Kompany to clear up in, just as used to happen with Dunney.
Johnny Baguette
16/04/2010 07:32:00
come on United...sorry but thats how the story goes...and dont hit back with the "come on chelsea"..Its gonna be a great game to watch,cant wait (both the Spurs and City game)..Obviously I want United to win but I do want Tevez to score and celebrate in front of the United fans...Same goes for Adebayor against arse-nil
Daz Hotspurs
16/04/2010 10:39:00
Come on Chelsea, mash those spud plebs into runny paste. Without Gomes they would be lost!
16/04/2010 13:25:00
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