Previous
Toronto FC
Columbus Crew SC
11:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Germany U20
Vanuatu U20
3
2
FT
Game Details
Mexico U20
Venezuela U20
0
1
FT
Game Details
England U20
South Korea U20
11:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Guinea U20
Argentina U20
11:00 AM UTC
Game Details
Next

Trending: Man United target four signings

Latest
Read

Francesco Totti's awkward Roma farewell

Roma
Read

Bale returns to Real Madrid training

Real Madrid
Read

Chelsea have the edge over Arsenal

FA Cup
Read

Conte's Double or Wenger's salvation?

50-50 Challenge
Read

Darmian hoping to stay at Man United

Transfers
Read

Wenger's defensive options look bleak

Arsenal
Read

Frustrated Balotelli could face Gunners

Roberto Mancini has admitted that Mario Balotelli was upset at being omitted from the Manchester City squad against Real Madrid but has hinted the Italian may return against Arsenal.

Balotelli was not even on the bench for the 3-2 defeat in the Bernabeu Stadium in the Champions League and Mancini said he faces a struggle to keep his four main strikers happy.

"He was upset, that's normal," the City manager said. "I don't think there can be a player who doesn't play and is happy. When you have a full squad it is very difficult."

Mancini chose Carlos Tevez as the sole striker against the Spanish champions with Edin Dzeko, who came on to score, and Sergio Aguero, named as substitutes.

That meant Balotelli, who was Italy's first-choice forward when they reached the final of Euro 2012, was effectively the fourth forward.

"I have to take the best decision for the team," Mancini added. "Afterwards you might see it as a mistake but before I thought it was a good decision. It was a tactical decision because I had two strikers on the bench and two would have been too much.

"We have four top strikers and, usually, we play with two while two stay on the bench with me. Often we have someone who can play as a second striker like Samir [Nasri] or David [Silva] or Yaya [Toure] and sometimes you only need one striker."

But Mancini opened the way for Balotelli to return against Arsenal on Sunday, adding: "Whereas Mario went to the stands in Madrid, maybe he can play against Arsenal because in our squad it is important that we have people who can run, fight and score."

Balotelli was sent off against Arsenal last season in a defeat that, at the time, Mancini believed ended City's title chances as well as the striker's season.

In the event, he served a shorter suspension than the manager expected and returned to set up Sergio Aguero's title-deciding goal.

"I thought he would get a six-game ban; three for a red card and another for [stamping on Alex] Song," Mancini added.

Mancini has urged Balotelli to stop smoking but smiled: "If he wants to smoke it is his problem. If he wants my opinion, it is better that he quits. But if he smokes ten cigarettes a day and scores two goals every game, then that's better."

He also professed ignorance of Balotelli's nocturnal activities, saying: "I don't go out at night with Mario so I don't know what happened."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.