City v Chelsea: Preview
| Submit Comments| Comments (48)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapMicah RichardsMicah Richards has been ruled out of Saturday's Premier League crunch with Chelsea. The defender gave manager Roberto Mancini a scare by reporting a hamstring problem after last weekend?s win at Wigan and has not recovered in time. That meant the Blues are facing the prospect of coming up against the reigning champions and leaders ? who have a 100 per cent record and are averaging over four goals a game ? with just three senior defenders. With left-sided defenders Aleksandar Kolarov, Wayne Bridge and Joleon Lescott already out, Pablo Zabaleta may be needed for the left-back slot, leaving Mancini with a stark choice on the other side of his back four. 19-year-old Dedryck Boyata may be brought in for his first league start of the season in an unaccustomed position. "Joleon has worked with us for one day. He is not ready to play 90 minutes," said Mancini at Friday's press conference. "Jerome has been working with us for one week. He is not ready to play 100%. "I do not know what I am going to do just yet. I will speak with Joleon and Jerome, but if they are not available I am not sure. Maybe Boyata, but I am not sure." Mancini added: "I am disappointed we have all these injuries at the moment. "I only have 11 players who are 100% fit." The Blues are also waiting to assess Shaun Wright-Phillips, who pulled out of the midweek Carling Cup defeat at West Brom with a knee problem. On the plus side, Emmanuel Adebayor is expected to return to the bench, while Adam Johnson is also expected to be among the subs. Mancini has questioned the sense of the way fixture lists are altered to accommodate television needs as he sends his patched-up team into one of the biggest games of the season. Both City and Chelsea are expected to play just 65 hours after Carling Cup games in midweek, and the Blues boss feels such decisions need to be looked at. ?We have just two and a half days before the next game, and that is difficult,? said the Italian, used to the more sedate pace of Serie A. ?When you play on a Wednesday night, it is impossible to play on a Saturday at 12.30. It is not good for the players, as a minimum of three days is needed between games.? For Chelsea, Frank Lampard is sidelined as he recovers from a hernia operation, while Salomon Kalou (thigh) and Yossi Benayoun (calf) are also set to miss out.
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