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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Manchester City vs. Leeds United

The Etihad Stadium


14h00 GMT

The Citizens versus The Whites

The anti-City media agenda continues it's relentless pursuit of Roberto Mancini. Time to right a few wrongs starting with the FA Cup...

Vital Quotes:

Roberto Mancini:
'We started our project three years ago. In three years we are always at the top. We fight for the title, we have won three trophies, we have the chance to win more this year. All the people who talk about this don't understand football. If Manchester City should sack me, the other 20 teams in the Premier League should be without a manager... (Regarding former players like the BBC's Danny Mills who has been an outspoken critic of Mancio)'...these were probably the players that won a lot of trophies in City history.'

Neil Warnock:
'People like Roberto Mancini, and I'm not being disrespectful, they need financial support. Like Mourinho and all them, I don't think they could manage at Leeds in the current climate, or manage anywhere else other than the top of the top level. That's the way they are.

'I don't think many people are going to put any money on us. But the FA Cup is such isn't it? It's such a great competition. It would be a major upset if we went there and won, but we're looking forward to it. I don't think many people, when the team sheets came out, gave us much chance against Tottenham or Everton, but it's a little bit more difficult with it being at the Etihad as well. City will be right up for it and I would imagine they'll want to try and win the tie early doors so they can relax and enjoy themselves.

'It made me laugh when Roberto said he was going to drop some players, what he meant was he's going to bring the first-teamers who weren't playing last week back in...They're under pressure because they're in second place in the league. They're not going to win the league. They've come across the maestro that is Sir Alex Ferguson.'

Brian Kidd:
'Our fans at Southampton were fantastic, wonderful and the lads felt that. It did come across to the team, no doubt about that. If you have a problem in your family, you stick together and everything gets said within those four walls. When you go outside, you protect your family and it's the same in football. You stick together. There are a lot of Chinese whispers and a lot of mischievous people talking about stuff that is not there. The manager has been great. We have a smashing group of players who are well capable of going on a great run, of going undefeated. That's how good I think this squad is.'

Pablo Zabaleta:
'We will learn from the defeat at Southampton and use the deflated feeling we had afterwards as an inspiration to maybe try and rediscover the sort of spirit we had last season. We need to stand together, battle and show what we are really capable of.'

Manchester City Team News:

Micah Richards
Gareth Barry

Vincent Kompany
Matija Nastasic

Player to watch: Carlos Tévez

El Apache, despite a full pre-season for the first time in many years and a far leaner physique simply cannot find the back of the net even though he has often run himself into the ground this season. A surefire starter following City's woeful no show at Southampton for which he was absent for family reasons, much rests upon himself to lead the line and seal an important result.

Leeds United Team News:

Leeds will be at full strength.

Player to watch: El Hadji Diouf

An A-Grade nutter and then some, 32 year old Diouf will absolutely relish a firecracker Lancashire-Yorkshire derby atmosphere and will revel in the role of bad boy when the tackles fly in. But many people forget this fella can play a bit of football and has bags of experience having played for seven British clubs. If Leeds are going to get anything here, he will be the key.

Match Facts & Stats

Leeds have won only 1 away fixture in 2.5 months at Birmingham in the FA Cup 3rd round replay.

City have lost 1 FA Cup game in 11 outings. A Chris Foy foiled 2-3 defeat to the rags. Foy will be the 4th official for the tie against Leeds.

The Whites last featured in an FA Cup Quarter Final in 2003. A 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United.

Neil Warnock and his then goalkeeper Steve Cherry got the better of City who absolutely battered Notts County in the FA Cup in 1991 but lost 0-1 by the River Trent.

League: 40 City wins, 17 Draws, 37 Leeds wins
FA Cup: 2 City wins, 3 Leeds wins
League Cup: 1 City win
Other Cup: 1 Leeds win
Total: 43 City wins, 17 Draws, 41 City wins

Mo 22Mar 2004 Leeds 2 - 1 Man City PL
Mo 22Dec 2003 Man City 1 - 1 Leeds PL
Sa 13Jan 2001 Man City 0 - 4 Leeds PL
Tu 05Sep 2000 Leeds 1 - 2 Man City PL

- All the clubs competing in the Fifth Round live ties will receive £233,200 from the broadcast fund with the winners earning an extra £180,000.

The Sixth Round Proper Draw will take place at Wembley Stadium at
17h55 GMT on Sunday evening.


CLASSIC CITY TUBE: Leeds United v Manchester City, FAC3, Jan 7th 1978
mcfcvideos: "A memorable FA Cup third round game at Elland Road in 1978 featuring a Leeds player punch-up, a pitch invasion, mounted police, a blatant penalty denied... and a City win."

Ref Watch:

Mark Clattenburg of Tyne and Wear 4th Official Chris Foy -Last Season: Su 18Sep 2011 Fulham 2 - 2 Man City PL, Su 23Oct 2011 Man Utd 1 - 6 Man City PL, Mo 12Dec 2011 Chelsea 2 - 1 Man City PL, Sa 03Mar 2012 Man City 2 - 0 Bolton PL -This Season: Sa 15Sep 2012 Stoke 1 - 1 Man City PL, Sa 20Oct 2012 West Brom 1 - 2 Man City PL -2011/12: 36 Games, 115 Yellows, 8 Reds -2012/2013: 23 Games, 62 Yellows, 6 Reds.

Match Prediction:

Johnny On The Spot: It's been a bloody awful week and easily the most demoralising we've experienced since the Mark Hughes era. As we've documented to almost universal Planet Blue approval on VMC, we have got to stick together as a club and get behind a gaffer a rag worshipping media are desperate to see fall from footballing grace. Mancio has come out fighting this week. Warnock's goading and unashamed trouser sliming of the Red Nosed Knight is sure to fire him up even further. There is little more to add save to say I expect his players to respond despite an expected big effort from Leeds and their passionate following. They must. City 3 Leeds 0

Next Fixtures:

all times East Manchester
Su 24Feb 13h30 Chelsea, The Etihad, PL
Mo 04Mar 20h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Sa 09Mar 15h00 Wigan, The Etihad, PL
Sa 16Mar 12h45 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 30Mar 15h00 Newcastle, The Etihad, PL
Mo 08Apr 20h00 The Rags, The Swamp, PL
Mo 15 Apr 20h00 West Brom, The Etihad, PL
Su 21 Apr 13h30 Spurs, White Hart Lane, PL
Sa 27 Apr 12h45 West Ham United, The Etihad, PL
Sa 04 May 15h00 Swansea, The Liberty Stadium, PL
Su 12 May 15h00 Reading, The Madejski Stadium, PL
Su 19 May 16h00 Norwich City, The Etihad, PL

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The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 16 2013

Time: 8:48AM

Your Comments

No slip ups this time lads, put the banana skins in the recycle bin.
buzz lightyear
Colin *****er is talking bollox as usual, Mancini was successful with Fiorentina and Lazio without money, that's why he got the opportunity to manage at the top level.
Warnock has once again proved that he is an out and out knob of the highest order. I couldn't stand him when he managed in the PL - he was the designated comedy manager before Ian Holloway took up that mantle. You just know that when anyone starts a sentence with the phrase "and I'm not being disrespectful" then that is EXACTLY what they are intending to be.

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