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Aug 15, 2014

Mangala must wait for Man City debut

The ESPN FC panel break down Manchester City's chances of retaining their Premier League title.

MANCHESTER -- Eliaquim Mangala's Manchester City debut will be delayed after manager Manuel Pellegrini decided the most expensive defender in the club's history will not figure at the start of the Premier League campaign.

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France international Mangala signed from Porto on Monday for 32 million pounds but has not had a preseason and will sit out Sunday's game against Newcastle.

Pellegrini also suggested that Sergio Aguero may not play at St James' Park as he tries to prevent a return of his fitness problems.

The Argentina international has only been in training for two weeks after he was granted time off following the World Cup.

And while only Alvaro Negredo is injured, Pellegrini admits several of his players are not in peak condition yet after he omitted seven who only recently returned to training from last Sunday's Community Shield defeat to Arsenal.

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He said in a news conference: "I think we are ready to start. Maybe some players need some more days to be 100 percent. I am not 'happy' happy because I think we need more days because they arrive late.

"But I think it was more important all the players have a good rest after the World Cup. We try to work in the correct form. We will see in the first three games before the international break how we will do

"Just Alvaro Negredo [is injured]. All the others are fit. Mangala needs to work more with the team to be able to play. It will not be this weekend.

"This team always needs Sergio Aguero. It is also important for him to have a good preseason. He has so many months without playing normally. We are trying to make a mix for him, a mix of preseason and trying to [play]."

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Vincent Kompany, Martin Demichelis, Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Frank Lampard, Fernandinho and Aguero sat out the Community Shield and Pellegrini will determine how many of them will feature at St James' Park.

He also faces a decision between goalkeepers Willy Caballero, who played in the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal, and Joe Hart.

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