LONDON: Manchester City’s players are . . . united: they all want to see Carlos Tevez restored to the first-team squad and will almost certainly see their wish come true on Wednesday at home to Chelsea.
Manager Roberto Mancini is poised to bring Tevez back into the Premier League and the only issue is whether he will start the match on the pitch or on the substitutes’ bench – the last place he was seen in City kit back in Munich last September.
The Argentinian has not played for City since then, having run away home to Buenos Aires for three months. But he has been back in Manchester and in training for the past month after resolving his dispute with the club.
The return of Tevez could give City’s Premier League title bid a lift – and just in time – after they were knocked off the top of the table in defeat at Swansea eight days ago. City trail champions and neighbours United by four points but Tevez can bring them an injection of class and energy with perfect timing for the run-in.
Tevez has been City’s top scorer for the past two seasons and the Premier League is their lone target after they were eliminated from the Europa League last Thursday. Mancini’s men generated a stirring late fightback against Sporting Clube but a 3:2 home win meant elimination on away goals.
Defender Kolo Toure, pressing the case for a Tevez recall, said: “He is a great player, a fighter, a strong character and his quality is fantastic. For me, I can’t wait.”
Toure was not alone in his support for Tevez.
Sergio Aguero, Tevez’s attacking compatriot, said: “Tevez has a lot of experience so there’s absolutely no doubt he can help us” . . . England defender Joleon Lescott added: “We all wanted him back and were willing to put what happened in the past” . . . and Micah Richards commented: “I’ve always been a big fan of Carlos, I would love to see him back in the team.”
City will need to bring to bear all their available firepower against a Chelsea side whose confidence and morale has been fired by their spirited progress, in the last week, in both Champions League (against Napoli in midweek) and FA Cup (against Leicester).
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