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Man City V QPR at Etihad Stadium : Match Preview
Published : 01 Sep 2012 09:20:22
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini expects QPR to prove just as tough this weekend as they did in last season's final-day thriller - but without the drama.
Former City boss Mark Hughes brings his Rangers team back to the Etihad Stadium 16 weeks after the memorable conclusion to the last Barclays Premier League campaign. City came from 2-1 behind in injury time to win 3-2 and clinch their first title for 44 years on an afternoon of high emotions on which QPR also narrowly avoid relegation.
Mancini said: "The last game was a crazy game, it is impossible if you think before the game how it can finish, to think of a game like this. "I hope this year we can do the same result but not concede one or two goals again. "It is important we win this game but we know it will be difficult. It will be the same.
"QPR have bought more players, I think they are better this year. "Also we are at the start of the season when every game is difficult." Speaking at his press conference to preview the game, Mancini was also asked if he thought he would ever witness such a spectacle again. He said:
"It is difficult. This can happen one time every 20 or 30 years. "I think we should have a very good memory from last season but will be the same, we have a very difficult game." Mancini has always maintained he never gave up hope his side could come out on top, even as the game went into injury time and it looked like Manchester United had snatched back the crown. "No, never," he said when asked if he ever stopped believing. "But three or four minutes to the end and you are 2-1 down it is difficult to score two goals. But in the end we deserved it."
City are still without striker Sergio Aguero and midfielder Gareth Barry. Aguero (knee) is likely to be out until mid-September while Barry (abdominal) might still be three or four weeks away from a return despite a recent reserves outing. England right-back Micah Richards (ankle) also remains on the sidelines. Esteban Granero could make his QPR debut at after he received international clearance following his move from Real Madrid.
New goalkeeper Julio Cesar will not feature as he has not been given clearance and Samba Diakite is also missing for personal reasons. Alejandro Faurlin and Kieron Dyer could feature after returning from their respective long-term lay-offs in midweek.
Striker Djibril Cisse is hopeful of repeating Rangers' performance of last season, but wants a different result. "We managed to stay up but we lost that game. We're going to have to do better," he said. "But it showed that we're capable of going there and getting a result. On our day, we can compete with anyone. We'll see."
Man City V QPR - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.