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Premier League

  • December 22, 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 47007
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Manchester City - Reading Preview: Mancini celebrates three years in charge with clash against struggling Royals

The Italian has won two major honours in his short tenure at the Etihad and will be looking for a win over Brian McDermott's struggling side to close the gap to Manchester United

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

MANCHESTER CITY

Hart
Zabaleta, Lescott, Nastasic, Clichy
Garcia, Barry
Silva ,Yaya Toure, Tevez
Aguero
READING

Federici
Cummins, Korkss, Mariappa, Shorey
Kebe, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff,
Hunt
Pogrebnyak


Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (hamstring) is a serious doubt after failing to recover from the problem he sustained in the derby defeat to Manchester United. He missed last week's win at Newcastle, and is unlikely to be risked with the busy festive schedule looming.

Samir Nasri (groin) limped out of that tie at St James' Park, and could be out for the entire Christmas and New Year period, whilst striker Mario Balotelli (virus) has not trained this week and may only be fit enough for the bench.

James Milner (hamstring) and Aleksandar Kolarov (hip) are both doubts, and Roberto Mancini will definitely be without Micah Richards (knee) and Jack Rodwell (hamstring).

Reading manager Brian McDermott looks likely to welcome midfielders Jem Karacan (knee) and Danny Guthrie (thigh) back to his squad after the duo featured in a reserve game on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) is out until mid-2013, and he is joined on the sidelines by striker Jason Roberts (hip) and defender Sean Morrison (ankle).

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Saturday's game marks the third anniversary of the appointment of Roberto Mancini (pictured, right) as manager of Manchester City.
  • City have not lost by more than one goal in the Premier League since April 2011 (3-0 away at Liverpool).
  • Roberto Mancini has taken charge of 114 league games during his time at the Etihad - and City have taken the lead in 110 of them.
  • Reading are yet to win on the road this season, and have managed just one win altogether - a 2-1 victory over Everton in mid-November.
  • However, since then, the Royals have not picked up a single point, losing their last six on the trot.
  • The Royals have had the lowest average amount of possession (40 per cent) of any club in the whole of the English top flight.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
4Kolo ToureDefender
33Matija NastasicDefender
44Karim RekikDefender
26Javi GarcíaMidfielder
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
21David SilvaStriker
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
16Sergio AgüeroStriker
10Carlos TévezStriker
29Richard WrightGoalkeeper
4Vincent KompanyDefender
6Joleon LescottDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
11Scott Sinclair Midfielder
62Abdul RazakMidfielder
10Edin DzekoStriker
1Adam FedericiGoalkeeper
2Chris GunterDefender
26Alex PearceDefender
3Adrian MariappaDefender
23 Ian HarteDefender
20Jem KaracanMidfielder
8Mikele LeigertwoodDefender
11Jobi McAnuffMidfielder
14Jimmy KebeMidfielder
16Jay TabbMidfielder
29Pavel PogrebnyakStriker
12Stuart TaylorGoalkeeper
20Nicky ShoreyDefender
17Kaspars GorkssDefender
19Hal Robson-KanuMidfielder
35Danny GuthrieMidfielder
9Adam Le FondreStriker
10Noel HuntStriker
Players to Watch
Yaya Touré
Yaya Touré
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 42
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 2 0
Mancini will be looking for Yaya Toure to put in a performance before heading off to the African Cup of Nations, akin to the one he exhibited at Newcastle last week. With his mix of power and attacking finesse, Toure could take full advantage of the fragile nature of the Royals confidence.
Jimmy Kebe
Jimmy Kebe
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 14
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
If the visitors are to pull off a shock result and get themselves a win at the Etihad, then they will need their lightning quick Mali winger to be in the thick of the action. The tall and pacy Kebe has struggled with injury this season but when he is in full flight there are few defenders out there quick enough to stop him.
Prediction
Despite being on a run of six consecutive defeats, Reading come into the game with almost no pressure or expectation on them, but whether that is enough to inspire them to a win at the reigning champions remains to be seen.

City will expect to show up and roll over the Premier League’s basement side, and with the attacking talent at their disposal it is almost certain that they will have too much for the Royals to handle. 

Roberto Mancini’s home record in the top flight is outstanding, and although they lost out last time at the Etihad to rivals Manchester United, they don’t lose many at home, particularly to sides struggling at the bottom of the league.
Editor's Prediction

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