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Wigan brace for Man City onslaught

09 Sep 2011 02:00:26

Wigan brace for Man City onslaught

Manchester City will seek to lay down another marker in their quest to unseat Manchester United as champions on Saturday as they face Wigan at home.

After the arrivals of Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri in the summer, City have made a perfect start to their Premier League campaign, with nine points from their three matches.

The odd questions about their defence continue but they have already managed 12 goals, in defeating Swansea 4-0, Bolton 3-2 and, most impressively of all, Tottenham 5-1.

With their first ever Champions League game -- they face Napoli at the Etihad Stadium -- to come next week, City manager Roberto Mancini faces his first serious dilemma about his team selection for the visit of Wigan.

A victory against Roberto Martinezs team would move them to the top of the Premier League, with United facing Bolton at the Reebok Stadium in the late kick-off.

Nasri could play despite suffering a broken bone in his hand while on France duty but Micah Richards and Nigel de Jong are doubts with respective hamstring and ankle problems.

Kolo Toure, who is now available again after a six-month ban over a failed drugs test, and Owen Hargreaves are both short of match fitness and are unlikely to feature.

Mancini has revealed that he would have preferred to move for Fernando Gago or Daniele De Rossi before signing Hargreaves on a free transfer just before the transfer deadline.

"Gago is a player who we liked a lot. In the end we couldn't spend any more money due to the financial fair play rules," Mancini said.

"But De Rossi is one of the best midfielders in the world. I have always thought that but he is Roman and a Roma fan so I don't believe he will ever leave them."

Aguero has caught the eye since his £38 million arrival from Atletico Madrid in July.

The Argentinian, 23, came off the bench to score twice against Swansea and also found the net at Tottenham, as well as creating countless opportunities for team-mates in his three appearances so far.

Spaniard Martinez admits he is far from surprised with the impact Aguero has made and thinks the little forward compares favourably with fellow countrymen Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.

The Wigan manager said: "He really is the complete player and hes probably as close to Maradona and Messi as you will see.

"Aguero has the ability to play between lines and his winning mentality has allowed him to fit into the Premier League with no problems.

"He is explosive over the first five yards and defenders in this country will have a real shock when they see just how quick he is.

"Due to his style, City can play on the counter away from home and then be different at home - it really is a dangerous combination."

Martinez, whose team are unbeaten and have five points from their three matches, believes that City are a far different proposition after another summer of strengthening.

"It is one of the most difficult places to visit in the Premier League but, at the same time, its exciting," he said.

"Last season we performed well. Man City have upped their status in the Premier League after winning the FA Cup and they should be considered as title challengers but we will be ready."

Martinez will once again be without Paraguayan defender Antolin Alcaraz and Steve Gohouri.


AFP

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