Manchester City v Bolton Wanderers
Etihad Stadium; Barclays Premier League; Sat March 3, 2012; 1500 KO
Roberto Mancini has almost a full squad to choose from to face the Premier League’s second bottom side – all suspensions have been served and Kolo Toure should be fit after pulling out Ivory Coast’s friendly in midweek.
The only player not ready to play is recently returned Argentinean striker Carlos Tevez, who is fit enough due to only playing 45 minutes of football in a behind the scenes friendly this week – his first action for five months.
Bolton Wanderers will have to do without Dedryck Boyata, who is on loan from City and so in ineligible to face his parent club.
Trotters manager Owen Coyle can all on Joe Riley once more, but there are doubts over Kevin Davies with a knee injury, Gretar Steinsson due to a calf strain and increasingly influential midfielder Mark Davies has a hamstring complaint.
Mancini tells Balotelli to learn
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has told striker Mario Balotelli to learn his lesson after being dropped from the Italy squad.
The Citiznes boss concurred with Azzuri coach Cesare Prandelli, who claimed the Etihad Stadium forward’s discipline is not good enough.
While Mancini insisted the 21-year-old was probably the most talented of his country’s forwards, his knack for getting into trouble is made worse by the situation of an international tournament.
“I think it is correct. We know that Mario is a top player but he should improve his behaviour,” he said.
“For the national team it is important. When you go to play in the European Championship and you only play three or five games, you should have good behaviour.
“Mario is the best Italian striker, for sure - 100 per cent.”
This leaves Balotelli with a limited amount of time to convince Prendelli he has what it takes, with only the warm-up matches left before Euro 2012 gets under way in June.
The young attacker would also do well to listen to Mancini, who famously fell out with Italy coach Enzo Bearzot at the World Cup in 1982 and subsequently had his playing time severely curtailed.