Roberto Mancini will attempt to rescue his Manchester City side’s rapidly faltering season by seeing off Leeds to qualify for the last eight of the FA Cup. The Citizens, who of course marked Mancini’s first full season as City manager with FA Cup success in 2011, have slipped 12 points behind Manchester United in the defence of their Premier League title having only taken two points from their last three league matches.
However, despite the pressure that has been heaped on the manager’s shoulders, Mancini has denied claims that a defeat to Neil Warnock’s Championship side on Sunday will result in his sacking.
City are unlikely to risk captain Vincent Kompany as he continues to nurse a calf injury, though Matija Nastasic could be fit enough to return and replace nominal midfielder Javi Garcia, who struggled in central-defence in the defeat at Southampton last week. Elsewhere, Carlos Tevez is available again and he may be selected alongside fellow Argentine Sergio Aguero.
Leeds have failed to win in three league matches since their shock success over Tottenham in the fourth round and after setting up promotion as a target this season, manager Neil Warnock is fast finding himself under pressure with the Yorkshire club currently mired in mid-table.
The situation at Elland Road has not been helped by the ongoing ownership situation, with GFH Capital, who only took over the club in December 2012, already said to be looking for new investors.
Warnock is expected to continue his policy of rotating goalkeepers in the cup, with Jamie Ashdown set to replace Paddy Kenny. Elsewhere, new signings Steve Morison and Steve Warnock could play while El-Hadji Diouf is also pushing for a recall.
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