Stephen Ireland is set to return to the City side for Sunday’s FA Cup tie as Roberto Mancini weighs up his options for a busy few days of cup football.
The 08/09 City Player of the Year has been out of the side due to a hamstring strain picked up against Wolves last month. The Blues boss is aware that some of his midfielders have carried a heavy burden of late, but is also keen to put out a strong side at Glandford Park.
“There are no new injuries,” he said on Friday lunchtime,”but we will recall Stephen on Sunday.
We will mix it again because I have three or four players who are very tired and I want them to be on the bench. I want to play a few young players again from the start.
...Mancini assesses options for Sunday...
“Gareth and Nigel have played a lot recently, so we’ll recall Stephen for Sunday, probably not for the whole game. We want to win, it will be difficult for us, they will be strong at home but we will put a good team out and we are looking to win. We’ll have a strong bench and they will be ready if we need them.”
The Manager also reported that Carlos Tevez may be one of those who do not start on Sunday, adding: “He’s very tired and he has a muscle problem. I have told him to stay at home and rest, but he might be on the bench.”
Patrick Vieira could be ready to make his debut after the game on Sunday, while Emmanuel Adebayor could be back training with the squad early next week.
“We think Emmanuel will be back on Sunday. It will be difficult for him to be ready for United, but if he is OK after he returns and he trains well, it’s possible he will be on the bench.”