Fulham v Manchester City Preview: Mancini confident of title defence
Manchester City Preview: Roberto Mancini says side will win the title this year
Fulham v Manchester City
Barclays Premier League
Saturday October 29, KO; 15:00
Samir Nasri has fully recovered from a hamstring injury and is available for selection, but summer signing Jack Rodwell will miss out with a groin complaint.
Micah Richards is back in training but isn’t match fit.
For Fulham, Dimitar Berbatov picked up a thigh niggle on Thursday and will miss the game, while Kieran Richardson and Philippe Senderos aren’t quite ready for competitive football just yet.
Mancini: We’ll win the title
A bullish Roberto Mancini has boldly claimed Manchester City will retain their Premier League crown – just five games into their title defence.
City have endured an indifferent start to the new season and have won just two of their opening five fixtures ahead of their trip to Fulham on Saturday.
Mancini’s side also lost their opening Champions League group game against Real Madrid before being knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Aston Villa this week.
However the Italian insists that there is no need to panic just yet – and says City will be able to fend off the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United to defend their league title.
We need to stay calm and work hard," he said.
"We will win the title (but) I agree it is more difficult the second year."
One area of concern for Mancini so far this season has been his side’s suspect defence, which has shipped 14 goals in all competitions, a stat Mancini is keen to play down.
"We have conceded only two goals more than last year," he said.
"Maybe we score less than last year after five games but we have had a problem with [the injury to striker] Sergio [Aguero]."