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Scene set for troubled Tevez to put a stop to Chelsea revival

| 21.03.2012

When Raul Meireles passed for Fernando Torres to slot into the Leicester net on Sunday afternoon, a goal drought lasting 25 hours and 41 minutes finally ended.

Torres capped off a fine performance in Chelsea’s 5-2 defeat of the Championship side with another goal, but is likely to find himself back on the Blues’ bench on Tuesday night as Roberto Di Matteo reverts to his trusted old guard, including Torres’ attacking rival Didier Drogba.

Nonetheless, there does exist one other goal drought that could well come to a significant end in the all-important encounter between title-chasers City – now four points behind rivals United – and a rejuvenated Chelsea side now feverishly sniffing around a Champions League spot. It is that of Carlos Tevez.

The troubled striker has featured just eight times for City this season since spending a summer seemingly trying to engineer a move away from Manchester. He hasn’t scored for the side he captained to FA Cup glory last season since a brace at home to Stoke on 11 May 2011.

Yet such is the regard that his teammates hold for his footballing talents that they seem happy, certainly eager and almost desperate to forgive his high publicised behaviour in Munich in order to reignite their title bid.

Tevez scored 43 goals in his previous two seasons for the team that have been so goal-shy in recent weeks, particularly away from home where they’ve scored only twice in their last six on the road, so it’s no wonder that players like Joleon Lescott, James Milner and Micah Richards have been publicly vocal in their calls for Mancini to reinstate the Argentine international.

After scoring in a reserve game last week, Tevez’s match fitness will have improved and though it would be something of a surprise to see Mancini start with Tevez, the former Manchester United man is expected to be named among the substitutes.

Providing he agrees to come on this time, he looks a good shout at 4/1 to make an immediate impact and score last in the game. A newly-buoyed Fernando Torres, meanwhile, is 7/1.



Richard Anderson