Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has indicated that he will make wholesale changes to his team for their Capital One Cup clash with Aston Villa at the Etihad, perhaps even rotating his entire team from the one that unconvincingly drew 1-1 with Arsenal in the Premier League on the weekend.
Mancini has publicly stated that City’s defence of their league title as well as their challenge for Champions League progression takes priority over the League Cup and so his squad’s fringe players such as Mario Balotelli, Aleksander Kolarov, Kolo Toure, Matija Nastasic and reserve goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon all could start. Carlos Tevez is set to lead the line alongside Balotelli after the Argentina international only started the league match with Arsenal on the bench. Elsewhere, youngsters Abdul Razak, Denis Suarez and Luca Scapuzzi have been named in the squad and could feature for the Citizens.
For Aston Villa, Paul Lambert will be targeting victory as he looks for his team to bounce back from their poor second-half performance at Southampton on the weekend, which saw them collapse from a goal up to a 4-1 defeat against the league’s bottom and previously pointless side. Indeed, Lambert’s relatively meagre resources
Joe Bennett could be given their have been stretched further by the absences of Gary Gardner, Marc Albrighton, Stilian Petrov, Richard Dunne and Stephen Ireland, who looks set to miss out on a return to his former club after suffering a suspected broken arm at St Mary’s on the weekend.
However, the likes of Chris Herd and Fabian Delph are fit and so they could feature should Lambert choose to make any changes. Shay Given could return in goal after being deposed as regular first choice by Brad Guzan while new young signings Ashley Westwood and first starts for the club.
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