City and Villa clash in vital Cup Competition
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City and Villa clash in vital Cup Competition

Aston Villa's Darren Bent

 

Roberto Mancini is facing the consequences of aiming for success in all competitions with Manchester City, as his side face Aston Villa tonight to decide who will go on to face Reading in the next round of the FA Cup.

The cup tie has been rescheduled to the build-up of fixtures due to Manchester City’s success in both the Europa League and the backlog of Premier League postponements over the Christmas period.

Aston Villa played just four times in February, compared to City’s seven games over three competitions – all of which they still stand a chance of winning. This match is City’s first of five over March, but that number could increase should the blues progress, or worse, Villa force a replay.

Mancini this week admitted his has abandoned regular training for the time being, using time in-between games purely for recovery purposes.

“We are so tired and fatigue is a factor,” Mancini confessed this week. “At the moment we need all the players available because one match every three days, week after week, is very hard.”

“I can't keep the players fresh because we only have 14. We can't practise. It is not possible to train. We prepare for matches but we only have 48 hours to recover. It is a big problem.”

With fatigue starting to show, Mancini will be disappointed in being without possible absentees Micah Richards (calf) and David Silva (ankle), whose injuries may mean they sit out alongside the long-term casualties Vincent Kompany (hip), Nigel de Jong (ankle), Adam Johnson (ankle) and Shay Given (shoulder).

Villa, very much a changed side after a poor start to the season, have Luke Young, James Collins and Carlos Cuellar missing through injuries, whilst Jean II Makoun is suspended.

The 2000 finalists have knocked out Sheffield United and Blackburn so far this year, and will be hoping to repeat the performance they gave when they last played City back in January – a 1-0 home win with Darren bent scoring on his debut.

 

Form
All Competitions:

Man City: LDWWD (10 goals for, 3 against)
Away: WLDDW (11 goals for, 8 against)

FA Cup

Man City: LDWDW (13 goals for, 8 against)
Away: WWLWW (13 goals for, 8 against)

Premier League 10/11:

Manchester City 4-0 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 1-0 Manchester City

 

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