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2010/2011 Premier League Preview: Manchester City

Manchester City have again spent big, bit it will still be a big ask for the Eastlands club to break into the top four.

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Manager: Roberto Mancini
Position Last Season: 5th
Transfers In: Yaya Toure, Jerome Boateng, David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov, Alex Henshall, Albert Rusnak
Transfers  Out: Valeri Bojinov, Martin Petrov, Benjani, Sylvinho, Robert Mak, Gunnar Nielsen, Javier Garrido

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has made a number of high profile signings this summer, so far spending over £80million on players such as David Silva, Jerome Boateng, Yaya Toure and Aleksandar Kolarov. It appears that Mario Balotelli and James Milner will soon join the revolution at the club and this will leave the manager with somewhat of a selection headache.

City have far too many players on their books according to the new Premier League rules and will have to offload a number of stars. Players such as Stephen Ireland and Craig Bellamy will not get the first-team football they will be craving, and so look more than likely to move on. There is a tough decision to be made as far as the goalkeeper position is concerned, and who will start upfront on the first day of the season is anybody’s guess. With all the new additions, it is extremely tough to pick a potential squad list, let alone a starting eleven.

Another interesting ‘addition’ to the manager’s squad dilemma is Brazilian star Robinho, who this week returned to training at the club after a loan spell at Santos. The attacker now looks likely to stay at the club and will provide yet another option for the manager. On his day, Robinho is a fantastic talent, but he seems unlikely to want to be part of a squad rotation system, and not playing regularly could affect his form. Keeping players such as Robinho happy throughout the season may be Mancini’s toughest task.

There is no doubting that the 25 players Manchester City register for the season will be an impressive bunch. The squad now possess quality in every position and will be able to cover any potential injuries. On paper, they should be able to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, but it will all depend on Roberto Mancini’s ability to blend the team and get all of his new stars performing as a unit from the off.

Caughtoffside prediction: Anything other than a Champions League place will be deemed a failure, but the team will have to be given time to settle as a unit, and for this reason a title challenge is still some way off.

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