Manchester City go into this tie on the back of a 2-0 victory over Bolton at The Etihad over the weekend. They face Sporting Lisbon in this Europa League clash after convincingly brushing FC Porto aside 6-1 on aggregate.
They will however be without Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta after he suffered a hamstring injury against Bolton. They will also be without Carlos Tevez, who made his public return on Tuesday, as he is not registered in the competition. The most notable absence for the Blues is undoubtedly the loss of Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure, after he was suspended after a booking against Porto.
However, explosive right back Micah Richards looks set to start as he recovers from an injury sustained during international duty.
Sporting are set to be without striker Ricky Van Wolfswinkel through injury and Sebastian Ribas is expected to take his place. Oguchi Onyewu and Alberto Rodriguez are also doubts for the game, both due to injuries so Xandao is likely to start in central defence. Midfielder Jeffren is also a doubt, and Fito Rinaudo is out through ankle injury.
Gael Clichy is expecting a tough game against Sporting tonight, and he said "We have been watching a few Sporting games and every time you play against a side from the Portuguese or Spanish leagues they like to play technical football, so it will be difficult.
"They are a good side but we are not scared of any team. We just have to play with our quality and hopefully we can go all the way. At the start of the season we were in four competitions. Now it's only two and we have to go for it."
Whilst Roberto Mancini enlightened the world this his thoughts of Italian hit-man Mario behavior. "Mario only needs time because when you’re young you can make some mistakes and, after that, the moment will arrive when you can understand. He needs to understand this because now he is young and when he is 25 or 26 it will be different. If you don’t have a good private life you can’t play at the top level. It’s impossible that rehe’s perfect but, after 100 times, he should understand what’s happened around him. Mario stayed on the bench for five or six games because his behavior wasn’t good. I’m very kind with him and with other players and all of them should have good behavior for themselves and for the squad."
Did you know...?
Sergio Aguero has had 2 shot on target in the Europa League this season, both of which have hit the net. These came against Villareal and a goal after 19 seconds in City’s 4-0 victory over Porto.
Sporting Lisbon1-2Manchester City
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