Expectations high at Etihad Stadium.
Roberto Mancini has demanded an improvement from Samir Nasri following the France midfielder’s lacklustre performance in Manchester City’s 1-0 League Cup quarter-final win at Arsenal.
Nasri was a subdued figure as City moved into the last four thanks to substitute Sergio Aguero’s late winner on Tuesday.
There were also reports of a clash between Nasri and former Arsenal team-mate Emmanuel Frimpong after the final whistle, although the home club have denied punches being thrown.
City manager Mancini admitted Nasri, who left Arsenal in an acrimonious move to City earlier in the season, was “nervous” during the game and has yet to play to his potential since arriving at the club.
The 24-year-old was also jeered by home fans angered by the manner of his departure in August. Mancini suggested it will be easier when he returns again in April.
“He can play better because he is a top player,” Mancini said. “It was his first night he came back to Arsenal and it is not easy for a player that player here for four or five years, maybe he was nervous.
“I think that he can improve a lot but it was the same situation with players who arrived last year like Edin (Dzeko) and David (Silva) and he can get better because he is a top player.
“It is not important for him, it is important for the team. For him it is better that he played in this game so when he comes back to play here in the league he knows what will happen.”