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Doubts over City Manager Future Ahead of West Ham Clash

Man City boss Roberto Mancini


Man City could take giant steps in claiming the final Champions League spot for next season with a confident victory over struggling West Ham; however they do so with doubts reappearing over Roberto Mancini’s immediate future at the club.

Mancini, who took over from Mark Hughes in December 2009, has been linked with a move away from the club where he has picked up 44 wins from 81 matches, including leading the club to an FA Cup Final. Juventus, the club Mancini supported growing up, have emerged as favourites to land the manager next season though Mancini himself has distanced himself from the speculation.

“It is normal,” Mancini proclaimed. “Every two or three months every player can change squad, every manager can change squad.”

When asked if he would consider staying at Eastlands, the Italian replied: “Yes, yes. Absolutely.”

After seeing his side fight to a 1-0 away victory at Blackburn on Monday, Mancini will likely name Edin Dzeko in the starting 11 due to the continued absence of top goalscorer Carlos Tevez. The Argentinean striker returned to the UK this week after having treatment on a hamstring injury and now faces a race to be fit for the showpiece match at Wembley in May.

The Citizens have not won back-to-back league games since New Year's Day, and their form so far in 2011 has seen their league title challenge crumble. However, they have a fantastic recent record against the Hammers, who are bottom of the Premier League and fading fast.

The London club have recorded just 15 wins since Avram Grant took over last summer – six of which have been in the league. With just four games left, survival is looking slim; a grim reality that was underlined by co-owner David Sullivan this week stating they only have a “25 to 30%” chance of staying up.

The Hammers have Matthew Upson back after illness, but will be missing Mark Noble (stomach), O'Neil (ankle), Stanislas (hernia), Scott Parker (Achilles) and Wayne Bridge (ineligible). They will travel to Manchester knowing survival may depend on avoiding a fifth consecutive defeat, which will not come easily, especially as they have never won a league match at Eastlands.


All Competitions:

Man City: LWLWW (6 goals for, 6 against)
West Ham: DLLLL (3 goals for, 12 against)

Premier League:

Man City: WLWLW (7 goals for, 5 against)
West Ham: DLLLL (3 goals for, 12 against)

Premier League 09/10:

Man City 3–1 West Ham
West Ham 1-1 Man City

Premier League 10/11:

West Ham 1-3 Man City

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