Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Mancini worried about Benitez effect



Roberto Mancini expects Manchester City to face a tougher task against Chelsea on Sunday after the London club sacked Roberto Di Matteo and replaced him with Rafael Benitez.

City, who start the weekend at the top of the Premier League, are looking to bounce back from the bitter disappointment of going out of the Champions League after being held to a 1-1 draw by Real Madrid on Wednesday.

But Mancini believes City's 12-match unbeaten league run this season is under threat after the events at Stamford Bridge this week.

"Usually when one team changes a manager, the game after for the opponents is very difficult," the Italian told a news conference in Manchester on Friday. "For us, I think it is more difficult."

He added: "Chelsea are one of the best teams in England, in Europe. They have won everything in the last 10 years.

"Playing against them in London is always a good game. To win there would be important for us. Chelsea is a good team with Di Matteo and will be a good team for Benitez. They have good players.

"Until three games ago, they played fantastic football and were on the top of the table."

On Di Matteo's dismissal, Mancini said: "I am very sorry for him because he won the Champions League six months ago, but this is our life as a manager."

Having been eliminated from the Champions League, the pressure is on City to defend the league title they won last season.

The champions head for London amid reports the manager will not be given new funds to bolster his squad in the January transfer window, although he still retains the support of the club.

"We didn't talk about this," said Mancini when asked about speculation over his spending plans in the New Year.

Captain Vincent Kompany is a doubt for the game after badly twisting his knee against Madrid.

"We need to wait until tomorrow (Saturday)," said Mancini when asked about the defender. "I hope we can recover him for Sunday because Vinnie is strong."

However, Gael Clichy, who missed the match against Real with an ankle problem, is in line to return at left-back.

Without Clichy, Mancini started with a back three against Madrid, with Aleksandar Kolarov at left wing-back, before deploying Pablo Zabaleta at left-back in a 4-4-2 formation after a tactical change.

But Mancini denied that City fell behind because of his fondness for a 3-5-2 formation, attributing Karim Benzema's goal to individual errors.

"You talk always about three, about four (at the back)," he said.

"There is no change. When we concede one goal on Wednesday, we were five against two in the box. It is one individual mistake. You cannot concede a goal when you are five against two in the box. We need to work on this."

Reflecting on City's Champions League exit at the group stage for the second successive season, Mancini said City still needed time to establish themselves as a major European force.

"It is clear we are disappointed because we have players who deserve to play in Champions League," he added.

"Together we made some mistakes. We can't change this now. We can't cry for this. We need time for this. It is easy to be strong when we win every game.

"We should be strong when we can't win or we can't play in the Champions League in February. By this situation we can improve as a team and as a club."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Great Goals Of European Football - Show 2
Badminton - Mixed Teams Gold Medal Match
SS7
Mon, 28 Jul @ 06:00
Commonwealth Games H\L - Day 5 - Afternoon

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
World Cup refs return home ‘bruised’
The World Cup is over for another four years and already the post mortem has started into some...

Sunday Oliseh
What Germany did to become champs
The 2002 Japan and South Korea World Cup saw the Germans lose in the Finals to Brazil, thanks to...

Collins Okinyo
Amrouche is his own worst enemy
Thunder has struck twice with news of Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche being slapped with a...

Claudia Ekai
Save our Stars
First and foremost, it is not all over for Harambee Stars in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations...

Carol Radull
The Harambee Stars' secrets
A week ago Kenya’s Harambee Stars hosted Burundi in our first international friendly this year. I...

Emeka Enyadike
Joachim Loew: German lessons for Africa
How do you win the World Cup? How do you prepare a team for the greatest show on earth? How do you...