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First Team News

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Joleon out of England squad

Joleon Lescott

Joleon Lescott

Joleon Lescott has withdrawn from the England squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying double header against Ukraine and Belarus.

The Blues central defender suffered a calf injury in the draw at Villa last night and is not the only club casualty.

Midfielder Nigel de Jong is expected to pull out of Holland’s squad to face Australia after limping out of the action early at Villa Park with an ankle knock while Pablo Zabaleta (hamstring) and Kolo Toure (heel) are both struggling to be fit.

Meanwhile, the positive reactions from Monday’s stalemate continue to flow with Villa boss Martin O’Neill unstinting in his praise of the Blues.

O’Neill admitted he was disappointed not to have picked up the home win that would have put his side level with Mark Hughes’ men but tipped City for a sustained run at the top places.

“We played very well,” he told his own website. “Man City are a really good team. Will they threaten the top four? Absolutely.”

“They have strength in depth and I think they are capable of pushing on.  They are dangerous and they are a really good team. I am sure that during the course of the season they will go on to prove it.”

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Match Report

City v Villa

Trust Craig Bellamy. Mark Hughes does. And just as this clash of the Champions League hopefuls threatened to embarrass the Blues boss, his favourite footballing son came to the rescue.