FA Cup preview: Manchester City v Reading

On paper a home tie against Championship opposition might look like an straightforward tie. The reality is different for a City side currently on a run of tired performances and having only arrived back from the Ukraine at 5am on Friday.

As a result, it’s to be hoped that Mancini endeavours to refresh the side. The most welcome returnee would be Nigel de Jong. Boateng, Vieira, Boyata and Jo all missed out in Kiev and should be considered. Tevez and Wright-Phillips only made substitute appearances and would be fresher than the likes of Barry and Yaya.

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Europa League verdict: Dynamo Kiev 2 Manchester City 0

Roberto Mancini fielded a strong line-up and suffered from a lack of freshness as City slipped to a two goal defeat. It could have been worse as the team pushed forward for an away goal and were nearly caught on the break in the closing stages.

Once again Balotelli drew the headlines, though not for his contribution to the game. Apparently he has an allergy to certain types of grass, and missed the start of the second half as he was receiving anti-histamine shots. With a swelling face he soon departed and in hindsight Mancini would have been better off leaving the Italian at home and playing Jo.

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Europa League preview: Dynamo Kiev v Manchester City

City embark on the latest round of the Europa League with a trip to the Ukraine and a potentially difficult tie against Dynamo Kiev. With a tired squad, it will be interesting to see the level to which Roberto Mancini rotates from the side that narrowly beat Wigan.

The manager has recently complained how injuries have reduced his options. This wasn’t entirely true, particularly for the likes of Boyata and Jo.

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