Mancini happy to juggle Man City stars

Updated: 27 August 2011 13:13 IST

Roberto Mancini admits he is now spoilt for choice after welcoming his new-found selection headache for Manchester City's trip to Tottenham.

Mancini happy to juggle Man City stars
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London:

Roberto Mancini admits he is now spoilt for choice after welcoming his new-found selection headache for Manchester City's trip to Tottenham.

Big-spending Manchester City added Samir Nasri, who has arrived from Arsenal in a £23 million deal, to the ranks of their heavily-assembled squad this week.

Nasri is poised to make his debut as he makes a quickfire return to north London with his new side on Sunday.

But finding room for the French midfielder will prove some task for the Manchester City manager, who has started the season with successive wins.

Mancini faces the balancing act of keeping his star-studded group of players happy while he rotates his side given his embarrassment of riches.

Nasri has joined the likes of David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and the wantaway Carlos Tevez in vying for a starting spot at White Hart Lane.

But Mancini welcomed the poser as he looks to secure the club's sixth top-flight win in a row for the first time in 33 years.

"I think we can play with Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Balotelli, Tevez and Dzeko, all in the same game. Samir is an attacking player, but for national team he played right midfield of the three," said the manager.

"I think every player can attack and defend. It's important for the balance of the team, but I think every system can work.

"When you have good players with good technique and who can score, it's better they play at the other end."

Two seasons ago Tottenham pipped Manchester City for the last Champions League spot.

Now their roles have reversed with Mancini's men being talked about as genuine title challengers as well as looking forward to their first ever venture into Europe's top tournament.

The feel-good factor of last season has continued as a comfortable opening home win over Premier League newboys Swansea was followed up with a 3-2 triumph over Bolton.

But their trip to White Hart Lane will be another test of their credentials to push neighbours Manchester United in the defence of their title, with Mancini under no illusions of the task facing his side.

"I think it will be a different game in London. We know how difficult it will be. I think Tottenham are one of the best teams in the Premier League," he added.

"But the season is very long and very tough. You need all your players pushing to play and that's what we have and what we will need here."

With Nasri, his fourth summer signing, likely to make his bow, Mancini will have to perform his latest juggling act as he plots Tottenham's downfall.

One reduced option for him though is that of midfielder Nigel de Jong, who remains sidelined with a foot problem.

Tevez, who made his return against Bolton last week, is again likely to be on the substitutes' bench due to a lack of match sharpness.

Tottenham have brought in Emmanuel Adebayor on a season-long loan from City while unsettled Croatian playmaker Luka Modric looks set to stay.

Former Arsenal striker Adebayor is ineligible to play but Chelsea-target Modric could figure for the first time this season.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknap believes the activity is a clear sign that the club still maintain hopes of clinching a top-four finish, and said: "We can't wait to get Adebayor started. He is a real talent and will bring us something different.

"Just having him here has brightened the place up. Training was sharper and that's what happens when you bring new players in to a football club.

"And there's no reason why Luka shouldn't play, he is fit. He met with the chairman (Daniel Levy) and the chairman has not swayed from what he has said from day one and that's that Luka is not going.

"Hopefully he can push on now and get him playing in the team and doing what he does best, which is playing football. We need him playing. I've said it from day one - he could play in any team in the world in my opinion."

Redknapp underlined the task facing his side by claiming their visitors have a stronger squad than Champions League winners Barcelona, tipping them to mount a strong challenge for the Premier League crown.

"They have a massive chance looking at that squad. They don't have a Lionel Messi, but they have a stronger squad than Barcelona man for man. They have two players in every position," said Redknapp.

"You would see them pushing Manchester United and Chelsea all the way for the title."

Redknapp hopes to have Jermaine Jenas and Kyle Walker (both virus) available, but the likes of William Gallas, Ledley King and Sandro remain sidelined.

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