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A look at Manchester City's squad for this weekend's FA Cup Final

10 May 2013 00:46:58

A look at Manchester City's squad for this weekend's FA Cup Final

Manchester City will start as strong favourites in Saturday's FA Cup final against Wigan Athletic, when Roberto Mancini's men will be seeking to win the trophy for the second time in three years.

AFP Sports looks at the players bidding to take the cup back to the Etihad Stadium.

GOALKEEPERS

1. Joe Hart (ENG)

England's number one has endured a difficult campaign, committing several high-profile blunders, and is expected to watch the game from the bench due to manager Roberto Mancini's decision to field under-study Costel Pantilimon in the competition.

30. Costel Pantilimon (ROM)

Having played in all the early rounds, Pantilimon started the 2-1 semi-final win over Chelsea and despite the occasional shaky moment, the gangly Romanian has been told by Mancini that he will keep his place for the final.

DEFENDERS

4. Vincent Kompany (BEL)

Inspirational captain Kompany missed two months with a calf injury earlier this year and it showed, as City took just eight points from a possible 18 to hand Manchester United a 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

5. Pablo Zabaleta (ARG)

One of the most tirelessly consistent performers in the English top flight, Zabaleta was this season voted into the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Team of the Season by his peers.

6. Joleon Lescott (ENG)

Lescott has fallen out of favour at City this season, prompting speculation about his future at the club, but he is a more than capable deputy and continues to be selected by England manager Roy Hodgson at international level.

13. Aleksandar Kolarov (SRB)

The former Lazio left-back tends to play second fiddle to Gael Clichy on the left-hand side of the City defence, but his dead-ball prowess and ability to play in an advanced role make him a very useful option from the bench.

33. Mataja Nastasic (SRB)

The revelation of City's season, the classy 20-year-old centre-back settled immediately following his move from Fiorentina last year and quickly dislodged Lescott from the first XI.

22. Gael Clichy (FRA)

Another dependable full-back, France international Clichy left Arsenal after eight years' loyal service in 2011 and was rewarded with a Premier League winners' medal in his first season in Manchester.

MIDFIELDERS

7. James Milner (ENG)

First blooded as a 16-year-old by Leeds United in November 2002, Milner is a tenacious midfield player valued for his versatility and his ability to make an impact at both ends of the pitch.

8. Samir Nasri (FRA)

Brooding French midfielder Nasri has been regularly chastised by Mancini for his lack of application this season, but his recent displays have improved markedly and he netted City's opening goal in the semi-final success over Chelsea.

18. Gareth Barry (ENG)

The unsung hero of the City midfield, Barry performs an important organiser's role and is one of the first names that Mancini inks on his team-sheet.

21. David Silva (ESP)

Like Nasri, Silva's performances have dipped considerably since his star turn in last season's league title triumph, but the little Spaniard remains one of the most technically gifted creative midfielders in England.

42. Yaya Toure (CIV)

The driving force behind last season's title triumph, Toure is one of the most imposing central midfielders in the European game and is expected to play despite sustaining a muscle injury in last weekend's 0-0 draw with Swansea City.

FORWARDS

10. Edin Dzeko (BIH)

An accomplished target man, Dzeko gives City a muscular presence in attack and claimed a very well-taken volley to settle Tuesday's home game with West Bromwich Albion.

16. Sergio Aguero (ARG)

The Argentine etched his name into English football legend by netting the stoppage-time winner against Queens Park Rangers that gave City the title on the final day of last season and he scored the decider against Chelsea in the last four.

32. Carlos Tevez (ARG)

A bustling ball of energy, former Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez is City's overall top scorer this season with 17 goals and has already hit the net five times in the FA Cup.

MANAGER

Roberto Mancini (ITA)

Having claimed the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League in 2012, Mancini is one of City's most successful ever managers, but the club's abject failure to keep pace with runaway league champions Manchester United has raised questions about his future.

City also limped out of the Champions League in the group phase, but he has repeatedly defended himself against accusations that he should have achieved more this season.

The Italian publicly lamented City's failure to make proactive moves in last year's close-season transfer window and success over Wigan will help him make a case for more significant investment from the club's Emirati owners this year.


AFP

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