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Injury-prone defender had been a major doubt for this clash, but returns straight to the starting line-up as Harry Redknapp chooses to leave Michael Dawson on the bench

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has chosen to persist with Edin Dzeko to lead the attack against Tottenham Hotspur despite Mario Balotelli having returned to fitness.

The Italian forward had previously been nursing an ankle injury, and now returns to take a spot on the bench.

Meanwhile, Micah Richards had missed the previous game and he comes straight back into the starting line-up at the expense of Pablo Zabaleta.

Vincent Kompany is unavailable due to suspension and will play no part in this game, while Kolo and Yaya Toure are both away on international duty with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has been handed a boost as centre-half Ledley King has returned to fitness and makes a start, and he partners Younes Kaboul in the heart of defence with Michael Dawson dropping to the bench.

Jermain Defoe comes in as expected to lead the line as Emmanuel Adebayor is ineligible to play against his parent club.

The full teams are as follows...

Manchester City
: Hart; Richards, Savic, Lescott, Clichy; Milner, Barry; Aguero, Silva, Nasri; Dzeko.
Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Onuoha, De Jong, Johnson, Balotelli.

Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart; Defoe.
Subs: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Dawson, Kranjcar, Livermore, Pienaar.

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