Boateng set for City bow
| Submit Comments| Comments (52)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapTwo of City?s super six England heroes could be back on the bench as the Blues take on Blackburn tomorrow. Shaun Wright-Phillips is set to play second fiddle to his Three Lions pal Adam Johnson for club as well as country while Joleon Lescott is under pressure from Germany ace Jerome Boateng, who is hoping to make his City debut. Boateng is naturally a right- back or right-sided central defender but he played well at left-back for his country in the World Cup finals. With Micah Richards recovering from a chest infection which kept him out of England under-21 action last week, Boateng is threatening the positions of both full-backs and of centre-back Kolo Toure. Manager Roberto Mancini will leave his team selection late, as always, but Boateng is expected to be involved at some stage after sitting out the opening month of the season with a knee injury. Fluid The Italian is also expected to replicate the fluid 4-3-3 system which saw off Liverpool in City?s opening home league game of the season, with Johnson and James Milner flanking Carlos Tevez ahead of a solid midfield with Nigel de Jong and Gareth Barry backing up a forward-thinking Yaya Toure. Meanwhile, Roque Santa Cruz has been dropped from City?s Europa League squad, leaving the injury-jinxed striker further out in the cold. The Paraguayan was named in the initial squad to face Timisoara in the play-off round but has been dumped from the final reckoning, meaning he cannot figure in any of the six group matches. Santa Cruz stayed with the Blues when a deadline day move to Lazio fell through at the last minute. Surgery But the necessity of including Mario Balotelli and James Milner in the squad, with only Robinho leaving, meant someone else had to make way. Balotelli is likely to miss the first three games after undergoing knee surgery yesterday but manager Roberto Mancini wants the Italian front runner involved for a potential crunch clash away to Juventus on December 16. The Blues have also added eight young players to the squad ? under UEFA rules, they are allowed an unlimited number of young home-grown players. But one of the youngster, striker Alex Nimely, has been ruled out for two months after damaging ankle ligaments at the weekend. City?s Europe League Squad: Goalkeepers ? Given, Hart, Taylor; defenders ? Richards, Bridge, Kompany, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Boateng, Lescott, K Toure, Logan, Cunningham, Vidal, Boyata, Mee, Wabara; midfielders ? M Johnson, Milner, Wright-Phillips, A Johnson, Barry, Vieira, de Jong, Y Toure, Kay, McDermott, Ibrahim, Chantler, Benali, Elabdellaoui; strikers ? Adebayor, Silva, Jo, Balotelli, Tevez, Nimely, Poole.
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