Eliaquim Mangala calls on strong defence from Manchester City

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Eliaquim Mangala has called on his defensive colleagues to ease the pain of facing Crystal Palace without a single recognised striker.

Injury has robbed Manuel Pellegrini of the services of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic for the visit of Neil Warnock's side on Saturday lunch time.

While Jose Angelo Pozo was deployed as a striker against Leicester, Pellegrini has insisted it's not his preferred position, and has even toyed with the idea of using James Milner as an emergency centre-forward.

Having all three senior strikers on the treatment table is a blow to City, but Mangala believes the cure is solid defensive displays.

The French international will start against Palace in the absence of injured captain Vincent Kompany, and he's certain he can help City achieve their aim of Premier League gold.

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With City having to experiment up front, he onus will be on midfielders such as Frank Lampard and Yaya Toure to provide the goals, but Mangala believes the defence can play their part too.

Speaking ahead of the visit of Palace, he said: "We need to continue to defend the way we do at the moment. It’s key for Saturday’s game.

"We have a few problems with our strikers at the moment so we know it might be a bit more complicated.

"We know that we will maybe not score as many goals as we are used to, so we need to be more solid in defence like last weekend."


After a difficult start to life in the Premier League, Mangala is finally finding some consistency having played the full 90 minutes in City's last three games.

Mangala's side were victorious on each occasion, extending their winning streak to seven games in all competitions, and the defender knows the good run must continue.

"We need to keep a good run, to be regular and have this winning mentality," he said.

"Our target is to be champions. We are nearly half way through the season. We need to keep going and continue the good and positive run we have at the moment.

"We need to take the maximum of points and it all start Saturday with Crystal Palace."


City's recent run of form has coincided with an upturn in fortunes for Mangala. The Frenchman starred on debut against Chelsea but has struggled since.

A poor run of form culminated in him being sent off against Southampton for two avoidable yellow cards but injury to Kompany meant he was straight back in the team having served his suspension.

On his comeback he was lucky not to see red for a reckless challenge on Samuel Eto'o, but having got away with his misdemeanor the 23-year-old impressed against both Roma and Leicester in his last two outings.

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