Manu could start against Gunners

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Roberto Mancini insists he would have no problem pairing hat-trick hero Emmanuel Adebayor with Carlos Tevez when Manchester City tackle Arsenal on Sunday.

The Blues warmed up for their date with Arsene Wenger's Gunners by recording a comfortable Europa League triumph over Polish outfit Lech Poznan.

As skipper, Tevez is already certain of his place. Yet, according to Mancini, the South American's presence does not automatically mean Adebayor will be squeezed out and he said: "It is not a problem. They played together against Blackpool last week. It is normal for my teams to play with two strikers. That is what I usually like to do."

Not only did the Togo forward score his first goals of the season, and walk off with the match ball for the first time since his £25million move to the Blues in the summer of 2009, he also put himself firmly in Mancini's line of vision for the encounter with his old club.

If he does select Adebayor, Mancini knows he will be picking a player high on confidence.

The striker's elaborate goal celebration - dusting off the cobwebs from his entire body - emphasised an intention not to spend so long inactive on the bench again.

At the very least, Mancini accepts Adebayor merits attention ahead of this weekend's encounter between Chelsea's closest challengers at present.

"It is possible he could play against Arsenal," said Mancini.

"For a striker it is important to play well and his performance was excellent. But it is very important for them to score.

"Now he has a good chance to play against Arsenal."

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Emmanuel Adebayor
Manchester City
Premier League

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