Mancini waits on defenders
Roberto Mancini has yet to decide whether to risk Joleon Lescott or Jerome Boateng against Chelsea.
Last Updated: 24/09/10 12:19pm
Roberto Mancini has yet to decide whether to risk Joleon Lescott or Jerome Boateng in the Premier League clash with Chelsea.
Mancini's expensively assembled squad has been decimated by injury in recent times, with Micah Richards the latest casualty to City's backline. The England international is out with a hamstring strain, leaving just three fully-fit defenders this weekend.
Pablo Zabaleta is certain to take Richards' right-back role, but Mancini will have trouble fielding a recognised left-back with Wayne Bridge and Aleksandar Kolarov both on the treatment table.
Mancini has youngster Dedryck Boyata available, plus midfielders Gareth Barry and James Milner available to fill the role if neither Lescott nor Boateng are deemed to be fit enough.
And the City manager has confirmed he will consult both defenders and assess their fitness heading into Saturday's crunch encounter against the domestic champions at Eastlands.
"Joleon has worked with us for one day. He is not ready to play 90 minutes," said Mancini.
"Jerome has been working with us for one week. He is not ready to play 100 per cent.
"I do not know what I am going to do just yet. I will speak with Joleon and Jerome, but if they are not available I am not sure. Maybe Boyata, but I am not sure."
Emmanuel Adebayor should be fit enough to make the bench after a recent spell on the sidelines with a dead leg.
However, with Shaun Wright-Phillips joining a host of first-team members on the sidelines with a knee injury, Mancini cannot believe his squad has so rapidly been torn apart.
"I am disappointed we have all these injuries at the moment," he said.
"I only have 11 players who are 100 per cent fit."