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7 years ago

Man City v Sunderland - Mancini on a vital game | Premier League 2012

Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez could make his first league start since September as Sergio Aguero is again absent with a foot injury that manager Roberto Mancini described as "stupid".
Captain Vincent Kompany is set to return after a calf injury.
Sunderland's Wayne Bridge is ineligible to play against his parent club and John O'Shea remains injured.
Lee Cattermole is struggling with a twisted knee, but Jack Colback returns after the birth of his first child.

Manchester City's football development executive Patrick Vieira claims they deserve to win the title because "we've been the best team and played the best football". Not lately they haven't.
City's title challenge has been built on home form alone. Their away record from 5 November has merely smouldered on a bonfire of vanities. Since their Guy Fawkes night 3-2 victory at QPR they've earned nine points from nine trips. That's mid-table form at best.

The 100% home record has kept them in the top two, but even there things have not been as they were in the swashbuckling opening months.
Injuries to the excellent Vincent Kompany and hugely improved Joleon Lescott have left them vulnerable. Yaya Toure has been playing too deep, perhaps to shore them up. David Silva's radiance has been dulled by fatigue. Edin Dzeko hasn't scored in six games. Mario Balotelli has become an irritant.
So enter the prodigal son! If there was ever a time for Carlos Tevez to redeem himself, it is now. He has scored in the last two home meetings with Sunderland. He netted for the Elite Development Squad on Wednesday. He could put City top again and turn the pressure back on United.
It could be a good time to meet Sunderland. The FA Cup quarter-final defeat by Everton will have hit the players hard. They have 40 points and are safe. There is little to play for.
Martin O'Neill will be looking for a response from his players. Some might be playing for their futures. But it'll hard for them to raise their game, get a first
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