LONDON: Carlos Tevez is set to make his first Premier League start in
six months on Saturday, as Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini
seeks to renew his team's Premier League title challenge.
With leading scorer Sergio Aguero
still recovering from the ankle injury that ruled him out of the 1-1
draw with Stoke on Saturday, Tevez could be in the starting line-up for
the visit of Sunderland.
In Aguero's absence at the Britannia Stadium, Mancini turned to Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli, but the duo fired blanks.
Between them, the strikers have
not scored in over 360 minutes in the league, and City's woes up front
have been compounded by the dip in form of their most creative player,
The Spaniard has also yet to provide a goal or an assist in his last seven league outings.
Mancini is looking to Tevez to provide fresh
attacking impetus, reported the Daily Mail. This despite the manager
hinting last week that he would ease Tevez back into the team because
the Argentinian is not yet 100 per cent match-fit.
It is understood that Mancini and his coaching staff are revolving their plans around Tevez starting at the weekend.
The Argentinian has made only two substitute
appearances since ending his exile from the club after his disciplinary
problems in September.
Before that, he made just one start in the
Premier League this season, although he did also start in the League Cup
While he has not scored since the end of last
season, he made an instant impact on his return to the team, setting up
the winner for Samir Nasri in City's 2-1 victory over Chelsea a
United midfielder Antonio Valencia is all too
aware of the danger that his former teammate at Old Trafford possesses,
and he conceded that he is worried Tevez will ruin United's title hopes
when the two sides meet on April 30.
'If Carlos plays against us, I'm sure he'll be
motivated. He's an excellent player, able to change a match in an
instant. What he did against Chelsea was no surprise,' Valencia told The
Sun. 'But for Tevez to score the winner? I hope it doesn't happen. And
for us to fail and lose the title will bring pain for months.'