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Boss lines up big guns against Juventus



Roberto Mancini is ready to send out his strongest side against Serie A giants Juventus even though City face a tough Premier League clash with Newcastle just three days later.

Blues boss Mancini fielded six youngsters in the team knocked out of the Carling Cup at West Brom a week ago before reinstating his senior stars to inflict leaders Chelsea's first League defeat on Saturday.

But he expects to have Shaun Wright-Phillips and Micah Richards back from injury and available to bolster his squad for tomorrow night's chance to claim a second successive Europa League group victory.

City's manager said: "Because we play the Europa League on Thursday nights we have only two days and two nights to recover, but I always put out the strongest team that I can.

"It was different in the Carling Cup, but now I can change two or three players. I've got more options. But I always want to put the best team on the pitch. I hope we can do a good job against Juventus and Newcastle."

Jerome Boateng made his belated debut as a late substitute in the 1-0 win over Chelsea but the Germany defender is again likely to be on the bench. "I don't think he will be ready to play all the game," said Mancini.

Boyhood Juventus fan Mancini will afford his old heroes respect while knowing that success over the visitors, on the back of the win in Salzburg, would put City in the driving seat for a place in the knockout stages.

He said: "Juve are a strong team. They have signed a lot of players this year and like us are working every day to improve. They have been one of the top clubs in the world for years, and it will be a difficult game.

"If we win we have six points, and it is important that we go through from the group stage, but when you think that you have done the hard work with two wins, then that is when you can make a mistake.

"I played against Juve all my life, and supported them as a young guy, but it is not a special game for me. I want it to become a habit for us to be playing Italian squads, hopefully in the Champions League next year."

And he insisted his nationality - and the strong Italian presence on his coaching staff - will not unduly benefit City. He smiled: "Yes, I know Juventus very well, but I also know very well Wolverhampton!"

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