Spurs v Man City: So just how will Roberto Mancini pick his starting XI?
PUBLISHED: 12:03 13 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:04 07 September 2010
2010 Getty Images
HARRY Redknapp has always stated that you can t have too many good players but Roberto Mancini might disagree. The Man City boss is currently contemplating a 29-man senior squad, 21 days before he has to submit his 25-man list, and James Milner and Inte
HARRY Redknapp has always stated that 'you can't have too many good players' but Roberto Mancini might disagree.
The Man City boss is currently contemplating a 29-man senior squad, 21 days before he has to submit his 25-man list, and James Milner and Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli are yet to arrive.
Mancini has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal, and his selection 'problems' were clear on Saturday as he picked what seemed to be his strongest team against Valencia at Eastlands.
Joe Hart was picked ahead of Shay Given behind Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany and new signings Jerome Boateng (£10.5) and Aleksander Kolarov (£19m).
Yaya Toure (£24m), Nigel DeJong and Gareth Barry lined up in midfield, while Spain winger David Silva (£26m) and Carlos Tevez supported Emmanuel Adebayor in a 4-3-3 formation.
The bench included Adam Johnson, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joleon Lescott, Patrick Vieira and Kolo Toure. Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa were unused substitutes and Stephen Ireland and Nedum Onouha did not make the squad.
Javier Garrido has left for Lazio but there will have to be further departures this month and Spurs are keen to help as they eye both Bellamy and Richards.
As Mancini tries to decide which internationals he can do without, there is plenty of evidence to support Redknapp's belief that City will win the title in the next few years.
That is until you look at their form in pre-season, becuase the Eastlands outfit have lost four of their six warm-up games, only beating Valencia.
City were missing their World Cup stars for most of their preparations, but the defeats against Sporting Lisbon (2-0), New York Red Bulls (2-1), Inter Milan (3-0) and Borussia Dortmund (3-1) seem to undermine the theory that City have the strongest squad in the league.
Of course, that will all become a distant memory if they overcome Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
However, in order to make a winning start to his first full season in charge, Mancini will have to create a phenomenon that has not happened since he arrived in England at the turn of the year - a competitive Spurs defeat in N17.
Tottenham have not lost a league or cup match at the Lane in 2010 and ended the last campaign with a 15-match unbeaten run at home.
That stunning sequence began on December 16 with a 3-0 win over City, spelling the end for Mark Hughes, and Spurs will hope to pick up where they left off in front of their own fans.
Prediction: Spurs 2 Man City 1