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December return for Balotelli as City desperate for attacking boost

| 29.09.2010

Manchester City are in line to get a mid-season boost in their quest to win the Premier League by welcoming back Mario Balotelli for the important games they will experience over the Christmas period.

Roberto Mancini will virtually be benefiting from a new signing when Balotelli makes an expected return to fitness at the start of December following knee surgery.

Balotelli has so far managed just 33 minutes in a City shirt after injuring his right knee on his debut in the Europa League win in Romania against FC Timisoara, in which he also scored.

The 20-year-old has indicated that he faces a further eight weeks on the sidelines, which will keep the pressure on Carlos Tevez to continue to find the goals to keep Manchester City in Premier League contention.

City are currently 7/1 to win the Premier League and have made a solid start to sit within four points of table-toppers Chelsea.

However, they have only managed seven goals in their six games despite their summer of big spending, with Tevez responsible for four of these goals.

Emmanuel Adebayor seems to have fallen out of favour with Mancini and is still waiting for a first goal of the season, while Jo has featured in cup competitions, but appears to lack the belief of his manager to produce the goods in the league.

Tevez is likely to be employed as a lone striker again in City’s next league game, despite this being at home to leading relegation candidates Newcastle.

They are 2/5 to beat Newcastle and despite the obvious gulf in class between the two teams, it is almost certain that Mancini will stick to his guns and play three holding midfielders in the shape of Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry and Nigel de Jong.

Chelsea are the 4/5 favourites to win the Premier League this season. See the full Premier League winners betting odds market.



Ed Needham