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Tactics: How can Tunisia beat Belgium?



City strikers' barren run concerns Platt

David Platt has admitted that Manchester City are suffering because their four strikers are all in a barren spell - but believes they will regain their goal touch in the second half of the season.

• Blog: Questions, questions

Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez have each only scored one goal in their last eight games while Mario Balotelli has one in ten and Edin Dzeko just one in 13.

And first-team coach Platt feels that City, who have only scored one goal in their last two games, are creating enough chances but converting too few.

He said: "I think they would be disappointed in their return but goalscorers go through barren spells. It is just unfortunate that at the moment all of them seem to be having one at the same time. Compared to the number of goals we scored last season we are significantly down but that is all around the pitch."

City's inability to find the net cost them in their 1-0 defeat to Sunderland on Boxing Day, which left them seven points behind Manchester United in the title race.

And Platt added: "In the last few games, we have produced enough efforts on goal but if you correlate the statistics we should be scoring more goals. It's not as though we are playing badly. We feel as though we are playing well, we are producing efforts on target. We have to start scoring goals when we have a supremacy in the game.

"We are dominating possession and every statistic in most games except goals. You throw those statistics into a computer and you'd come out and you'd win it. I think if we played it nine times out of ten we would win it."

But Platt expects the City forwards to convert a higher percentage of chances in the next few months and end the season with healthy goal tallies.

Aguero, who struck 30 times last season, has only eight goals so far, as has Tevez, who got 53 in his two full seasons in the City attack.

Dzeko is on seven goals for the season and finished with 19 last year while Balotelli, who got 16 then, has just three.

Platt said: "These things have a habit of balancing out over the season. Goalscorers usually have the same quota that they had [in previous years]. These are all players who have goalscoring records over a period of years but invariably at the end of the season that quota will be back up to one [goal] in two [games] or one in one-and-a-half."

Platt added that City are unlikely to do any business in the January transfer market.

The former England captain believes that the sort of players who would improve a title-challenging team tend to be unattainable in the mid-season market.

Roberto Mancini's only signing last January was on-loan midfielder David Pizarro, who was a fringe player as City won the league for the first time in 44 years.

And Platt believes this year could be quieter still at the Etihad Stadium, saying: "I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't do any business.

"I think it is a very difficult market to go and work in. The kind of players you would want to improve a squad like Manchester City are invariably already playing for the top teams that are involved in chasing honours."

City will welcome back Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy for Saturday's trip to Norwich.

The two France internationals have not played for a fortnight since the 3-1 win against Newcastle, when Nasri injured a hamstring and Clichy sustained a knock.

Carlos Tevez is also in contention, despite a virus that has affected him this week. The Argentine did play in the Boxing Day defeat to Sunderland but was given a day off training.

Platt added: "Samir and Gael are back on the training pitch. They will be available for selection. Carlos was a bit under the weather before the game against Sunderland. We gave him a day off [on Thursday] to keep him away from the place. We don't want anything spreading but he should be back in."

However, Mario Balotelli, who has not played since the Manchester derby defeat, is still out.

"Mario is still feeling the effects of the virus," Platt added.


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