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City set for Poznan test

RM Poznan

RM Poznan

Roberto Mancini will ring the changes once again for the Europa League with one eye on giving players a rest where possible.

The squad touched down in Poland minus the Toure brothers, who are likely to feature in next week's three games in the Barclays Premier League. Carlos Tevez is also absent, but Mancini confirmed the skipper will return to Manchester from Argentina on Thursday.

Knowing a win would put City within touching distance of qualifying for the knockout stages, Mancini said: "We will probably change some players because with a game every three days, it's impossible to play the same players. So we need to make changes but we have good players and they can put in some good work on Thursday."

The Poles replaced head coach Jacek Zielinski this week with Jose Mari Bakero, a familiar face to City's manager. Bakero was in the Barcelona side that beat Sampdoria, captained by Mancini, in the 1992 European Cup Final.

"I forgot that game in 1992!" he laughed. "I want to say good luck, not for tomorrow night but for the season, but I don't think a manager can change things in just one day! I know their players well, they are a good side. We will have to work well to win this game.

Tomorrow will be a different game to a few weeks ago - the atmosphere will be different and they will probably attack us from the start


James Milner also faced the Press with his manager shortly after arriving in Poland, and he brushed off the recent scrutiny of City both on and off the pitch. He said: "It's frustrating. When you are at a club as big as City that is desperate to win things, you are up on a pedestal to be knocked down - people will have a pop at you no matter what happens.

"It is down to us to stick together and ignore these things, and get on with what we need to do, which is win football matches. These things will only make you stronger as a team and as a club. We will pull together and use that out on the field."

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