Football

Mancini dismisses play-off plan

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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini wants to win a Champions League place on merit - and not via any play-off.

The Italian has railed against the possibility of a play-off system between the fourth and seventh-placed clubs in the Barclays Premier League ahead of City's clash with Liverpool on Sunday at Eastlands.

He said: "I do not like this idea. The players have so many games in one year. Then in May you are asking them to play more matches for fourth position."

The Italian will be without three key players for this crucial game. Carlos Tevez is in Argentina dealing with a family matter, Patrick Vieira starts a three-match ban and there are fears Martin Petrov could be out for up to four weeks with a knee injury.

Tevez will miss his third game in a row and City then take on Stoke in an FA Cup replay followed by title-chasing Chelsea in a hectic round of fixtures.

Mancini is anxious to see Tevez back in a City shirt sooner rather than later.

He said: "I hope he comes back as quickly as possible. I am frustrated he is not with us. It is a problem as we have some very important games coming up and we need him.

"I don't think he will be here on Sunday but maybe he will come back Monday for the Stoke game."

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Topics:
European News
Stoke City
Football
Martin Petrov
Manchester City
Carlos Tevez
Chelsea
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Patrick Vieira
FA Cup
Patrick Vieira
Liverpool

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