Preview: Manchester City v Norwich City

Following last weekend’s draw, Roberto Mancini will be looking to get back to winning ways against Norwich. With our amazing home record, that might look a formality yet Paul Lambert’s side have performed admirably at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and Anfield.

With a potentially huge game against Bayern Munich coming up on Wednesday, it will be interesting to see if Roberto Mancini holds back from playing his strongest side.

Samir Nasri, who played last Sunday and Tuesday may well be rested, while Nigel de Jong could be kept fresh for the Germans after also playing against Arsenal. Mario Balotelli should at least be fresh after his brief appearance at Anfield.

Norwich like to use the full width of the pitch and aim crosses in to their strikers. Therefore it would make sense to stick with the aerial prowess of Kompany and Lescott.  Richards and Clichy would give us strength down the flanks.

If Yaya plays, hopefully he will be refreshed after a couple of tired looking showings. As for the other midfielders: Milner, Barry and Silva will all be looking to return after their midweek rest. Whether Owen Hargreaves, who isn’t available for the Bayern game, could play is a question for the fitness coaches.

City have conceded goals in each of the last six league games – the longest run under Roberto Mancini. The manager had the team working on defending in training this week and there was an emphasis on increased solidity in the win against Arsenal. This all gives the impression Mancini will be looking for a clean sheet as well as three points against Norwich.

Blue Days line-up:
Richards – Kompany – Lescott – Clichy
Milner – Hargreaves
A Johnson – Y Toure – Silva

Prediction: 3-0 to City.

Carling Cup verdict: Arsenal 0 Manchester City 1
Player ratings: Manchester City v Norwich City

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