City duo close to return

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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini expects injured duo Aleksandar Kolarov and Mario Balotelli to be back in action in 10 days' time.

The pair have played just once for their new club so far this term before being struck down by ankle and knee problems respectively.

However, ahead of Sunday's trip to Blackpool, Mancini revealed: "Aleksandar and Mario should be available in 10 days."

"Aleksandar has started to work with the team but has been out for a long time, so we have to be careful.

"Mario is different. He should be able to work with the squad in five days."

Meanwhile, Mancini has expressed his disappointment about the furore that followed Nigel De Jong's tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa in the recent win over Newcastle.

Ben Arfa suffered a double leg break in the incident, which has been widely condemned and led to De Jong being axed from the Holland squad by coach Bert van Marwijk.

Yet referee Martin Atkinson saw little wrong at the time, and the Football Association have confirmed the Dutch World Cup star will not be subject to retrospective action.

"I am very disappointed with the people who spoke about Nigel De Jong's tackle," said Mancini. "I am sorry for Ben Arfa but these things happen in football.

"It was a normal tackle."

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Aleksandar Kolarov
Manchester City
Premier League
Mario Balotelli

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