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Mario Balotelli looking good for Manchester derby

01 Feb 2011 12:21:53

Mario Balotelli looking good for Manchester derby

Mario Balotelli returned to Manchester on Monday with City manager Roberto Mancini spying the derby clash at Old Trafford later this month as a potential comeback match for the controversial Italian. Mancini has been relieved to discover the knee injury Balotelli suffered scoring a hat-trick against Aston Villa on December 28 is not as bad as he initially feared and the youngster will not require an operation. He will not be considered for Wednesday's Premier League trip to Birmingham though, or the home encounter with West Bromwich at the weekend. Derby delight: Balotelli (left) could be back in a City shirt when the play United However, by the time City head across town to face United on February 12, Mancini does think Balotelli could be ready. 'I hope everything is okay with Mario,' said Mancini. 'I think he could be ready for the derby.' Balotelli could end up being part of a pretty potent strikeforce for the Eastlands outfit, with skipper Carlos Tevez and ?27million new-boy Edin Dzeko, whose status as the biggest transfer of the January window was blown out of the water by the staggering deals involving Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll. But Dzeko has already made a significant contribution on the field, scoring the equaliser at Notts County that staved off the potential for total humiliation at Meadow Lane. Unlike Torres and Carroll, Dzeko is having to get accustomed to life in England. And, although the Bundesliga is often portrayed as the second most physical league in Europe, the former Wolfsburg front-man has been caught out by the sheer strength of the teams he is encountering. Relief: Dzeko saved Manchester City's blushes against Notts County on Sunday 'It's very different and harder than the Bundesliga,' he said. 'I never played any games like this in Germany, not when you have to fight for 90 minutes. But if I want to be successful in England, I have to get used to it.' City midfielder Gareth Barry certainly feels Dzeko has not done himself any harm by grabbing his first City goal on Sunday, the effects of which could be far more wide-ranging than simply earning an FA Cup replay with Paul Ince's men. 'It was an important goal for him,' said the England midfielder. 'The longer a striker goes without a goal the more it can affect him. 'Strikers thrive on confidence, so I hope this settles him down. and it can be the first of many because Edin can be a big star for Manchester City. 'When you look at his record, his ratio of goals to games is very good. "If he can keep that going at City, he is going to do very well.'  Birmingham block any move from Larsson to big-spending Man CityMouthy Mario on the Tiger trail as he battles to be fit for Manchester derbyClub-by-club guide to every Premier League transfer deal during JanuaryWright-Phillips set to stay at Man City with Johnson out for three monthsNotts County 1 Manchester City 1: ?201m of talent need late Dzeko strikeAll the latest Manchester City news, features and opinionAll the latest Manchester United news, features and opinion  Explore more:People: Edin Dzeko, Andy Carroll, Carlos Tevez, Paul Ince, Roberto Mancini, Fernando Torres, Gareth Barry Places: Birmingham, Manchester, Germany, United Kingdom, Europe


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