Preview: Manchester City v Bolton Wanderers

City will be looking to end Bolton’s impressive run of being unbeaten in November and in their last five Premier League games. We’ll have to be at our best against the new favourites of footballing purists.

Roberto Mancini will revert to the majority of the side that played against Stoke. Yaya Toure is likely to come in for James Milner and the main debate will be over who plays at right-back.

Zabaleta and Richards have each scored spectacular goals in the last two league fixtures, yet Boateng is likely to be Mancini’s first choice. The German is starting to settle into some decent form after an injury affected start to life at his new club.

There is a concern over Balotelli’s hamstring, but he should be ok. It will be great to see how he performs in a home league game alongside Tevez and Silva.

Vieira on Balotelli:

“If Mario wants to be one of the top strikers in the world, he will have to work harder than he is doing at the moment. What is positive is that he is scoring goals, and that’s a good start!

“He needs to work for the team a little bit more, the demands of the Premier League are different to those in Serie A.”

Bolton are likely to be more attack minded than Birmingham and less imposing than United. It shouldn’t be 0-0.

No doubt Martin Petrov will be hoping to make an appearance at some point. Whoever does play right-back will have to keep a watchful eye on the former City player.

Kolo and Kompany will face a stiff physical test against the inform Elmander and Davies. Kolo played the majority of the game in midweek while Kompany has been struggling for fitness. They’ll need to be at their best if we’re to keep another clean sheet. Lee will also ask questions of Kolarov defensively.

Mancini will no doubt look to control the central midfield once again. If we can retain possession in this area, like we did in the first half at Fulham and the second at Stoke, then we should have a platform for victory.

Blue Days line-up (4-2-3-1):

Boateng – K Toure – Kompany – Kolarov
de Jong – Barry
Silva – Y Toure – Balotelli

Prediction: 3-1 to City.

Europa League verdict: Manchester City 3 Red Bull Salzburg 0
Player ratings: Manchester City v Bolton Wanderers

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