Dynamo Kiev v Manchester City: Preview
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is convinced Edin Dzeko will
become one of the top strikers in England.
Dzeko, 24, is feeling his way at Eastlands after arriving in the January
transfer window from Wolfsburg for a reported £24million.
The Bosnian's only goals since arriving have come in cup competitions, not the Barclays Premier League. And he could return to the team on Thursday in the Europa League last-16 first leg meeting with Dynamo Kiev after having to settle for a place on the bench in the victory against Wigan at the weekend.
Mancini opted instead for a partnership of Carlos Tevez and summer signing Mario Balotelli. The Italian boss is pleased with the attacking options at his disposal and feels it is never easy for a player like Dzeko to make a big impact in mid-season.
He said: "These three strikers can play together sometimes but not always. When they do it's important that they work. As for Edin it is not easy to start with a new team in a new league in January but I believe he will become one of the best strikers in England."
City trained at Carrington rather than in Kiev where temperatures have dipped to below freezing with the remnants of snow littering the city.
Mancini said: "It will be a difficult game but it's only the first half. I hope we can play a good game, score a goal and win if possible. We have good players and a good squad. I don't know what kind of football we can play. The problem is the pitch. It's so hard because it's cold at the moment."
Shaun Wright-Phillips could come into contention after missing two games with a back problem. Nigel de Jong, who has recovered from an ankle injury, is pushing for his first start in over a month. James Milner is absent with a hamstring strain while Kolo Toure is banned indefinitely after failing a drugs test.
Dynamo captain Alexander Shovkovsky insists he and his team-mates are aware of their responsibilities against the quality players in the City team.
He said: "I think that each of us understands the degree of responsibility that will rest on those players who will play on a football field.
"The level of individual skill of each player of Manchester City is not in doubt. No wonder this team is in the leading group of the championship race in England."
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