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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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City near full complement after injury woes

Manchester City assistant David Platt believes the club's injury problems are easing and says manager Roberto Mancini could have almost a full squad at his disposal for Saturday's game against Aston Villa.

• Blog: Man City exorcise ghosts

The Premier League champions have been without up to six players during a spell when teenagers Abdul Razak, George Evans and Courtney Meppen-Walters have all been on the bench.

But David Silva and Maicon made their comebacks in Sunday's 2-1 win over Tottenham and Platt is optimistic that Joleon Lescott, Jack Rodwell, James Milner and the ill Samir Nasri could all be available to face Paul Lambert's side.

"Slowly but surely, people are coming back," Platt said. "It was great to see David Silva getting 90 minutes in.

"Joleon has only had a couple of days' training sessions. Samir was ill and he had a couple of days in bed so he hasn't trained either.

"Hopefully by next week you would think that certainly Joleon will be back in contention, Jack Rodwell will be a lot closer and Samir obviously [will be back]. To all intents and purposes, we have got a good chance of having a full complement next week."

Defender Lescott has had a back injury while Rodwell has been sidelined by a hamstring problem sustained playing for England Under-21s last month. Milner is another with hamstring difficulties, as was Silva before his return on Sunday.

Left-back Gael Clichy is also likely to be available, with Platt adding: "Gael Clichy has a problem with his back and is going to have an injection so hopefully we can recuperate him."

If all recover, it would leave the long-term absentee Micah Richards, who has a knee problem, as the only player who would not be in contention.

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