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Chelsea v City: Mancini preview

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Roberto Mancini has admitted that a move for Robin van Persie is now out of reach.

Speaking ahead of the Community Shield clash with Chelsea on Sunday, Mancini told his press conference at Carrington that time has all but run out.

“We only have 20 days to the end of the market and I don’t think that we have any chance for him,” the Blues chief revealed.

“But I don’t want to talk any more about players, my thoughts are now with the game against Chelsea. Now I have to think about the game.”

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The Italian announced that Mario Balotelli and David Silva are likely start on the bench for the weekend fixture.

The pair, who both featured in this summer’s Euro 2012 final, have only recently returned to training after an extended leave period.

“Mario and David have had a busy summer, they need more time,” said Mancini.

“They will probably be on the bench.”

City are also faced with a number of injury concerns ahead of the showdown at Villa Park and Gareth Barry and Micah Richards will both miss out.

“Richards, I think will be out for just this game, he has a small ankle problem,” Mancini admitted.

“Gareth, I don’t know. I hope that maybe three or four weeks, or one month, but I don’t know.”

Looking further down the line to the new season, the City chief said he thinks Manchester United are still the team to beat.

“I think United are the favourite team this year,” he concluded.

I am confident with my players because we won the league and also because last year we beat a fantastic team like United.

“But you do need to improve at every level. We are a young team and we need to get better, every month, every year.”

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