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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Man City lose Bellamy and Weiss to swine flu

Manchester City face an anxious wait to discover the extent of a swine flu scare that threatens to spread through the squad.

Striker Craig Bellamy has already been diagnosed with the virus but seems to be over the worst of it. And now Vladimir Weiss, who came off the bench to score against Arsenal in the Carling Cup last week, was sent home before reporting for last weekend's game with Chelsea after contracting H1N1.

It is the second time this season that Chelsea have played a club enveloped by swine flu concerns following their game against Blackburn Rovers in October. Despite fears the virus could spread to their squad, Chelsea so far have no concerns.

Several staff members at Eastlands have also been showing symptoms while other members of the playing squad have reported similar complaints.

Manchester City assistant boss Mark Bowen told the Manchester Evening News: "There is a little bit of it creeping into the camp. Players come in every day with sniffles, coughs and colds and the doctor has to determine whether it is the onset of something more serious.

"It is his decision whether they have to be sent home.''

Bellamy is a major a doubt for Saturday's local clash with Bolton Wanderers, and City boss Mark Hughes will be hoping he does not lose any more high profile players.

Wayne Bridge is already out for four to six weeks after he suffered medial ligament against Chelsea. Hughes has the option of using either Joleon Lescott at full-back and pairing Kolo Toure with Nedum Onuoha, or veteran Brazilian Sylvinho could come in for his first Premier League start after leaving Barcelona in the summer.

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