Mancini given striker boost
Roberto Mancini reported Manchester City's striking crisis has eased - just as he made Carlos Tevez train on his own.
Tevez returned to Carrington at the end of his two-week ban on Thursday and Mancini dispatched him to work alone with a fitness trainer. The 27-year-old will not be required against Aston Villa on Saturday given Mario Balotelli has recovered from a back injury and Sergio Aguero's adductor muscle problem has eased to give him an outside chance of inclusion.
"Sergio could be ready for Saturday but I don't know if we will take the risk," Mancini told www.mcfc.co.uk. "I am sure 100% for Villarreal on Tuesday."
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is monitoring the Tevez situation and would jump at the chance of offering the player a loan stint with his old club. Nothing is likely to happen until the entire disciplinary case is concluded though, and that probably will not be until December.
Meanwhile, Mancini is hoping former City keeper Shay Given does not return to haunt him this weekend.
The Republic of Ireland star quit this summer after a season playing second fiddle to Joe Hart.
And whilst the parting of Mancini and certain players has been acrimonious, for Given the Italian only reserves the warmest of words.
"They have a good goalkeeper," said Mancini. "Shay is a good guy but it is difficult to have two fantastic keepers in the same team because they want to play. It was important for him. He deserved this move."
Although Villa, like City, remain unbeaten, they have lost 10 out of their last 11 trips to the blue half of Manchester, most recently in last season's FA Cup, when Gerard Houllier infuriated the club's supporters by leaving out many of his key men.
In addition, City have yet to concede a goal on home Premier League goal this term.