Europa League - Depleted City face Europa test

Reuters - Thu, 26 Aug 09:38:00 2010

Manchester City's new striker Mario Balotelli will miss Thursday's Europa League play-off second leg against Timisoara because of a knee injury.

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Balotelli, who marked his debut by scoring the winner from the bench in City's 1-0 away leg victory against the Romanian side last week, picked up the injury during his cameo role.

"Mario has a problem in his knee, not much of one, but he won't be available for Timisoara. It's important that we try to get him ready for the Sunderland game," City manager Roberto Mancini said.

The 20-year-old Italian international joined City on a five-year deal from Serie A champions Inter Milan earlier this month for a fee of 24 million.

"He is settling in well but he needs time. It's not easy to change clubs or meet new team mates but I know he's happy here already," Mancini added.

City have problems in defence for the match, with fullbacks Wayne Bridge, Alex Kolarov and Jerome Boateng all injured.

"We're very unlucky with our full backs at the moment," Mancini said.

"We have three injured at the moment, Jerome will maybe be out for another two weeks, Kolarov could be six or seven and Wayne I hope will only be another two."

Mancini said City would not take their Romanian opponents lightly, despite promising to shuffle his extensive playing resources.

He said: "We must pay attention, we may have won the first game but it's going to be a difficult match on Thursday. I'll probably make three or four changes, because it's impossible to play with the same players every three or four days."

Watch the game LIVE on British Eurosport, with coverage starting at 19:35 UK time.

Video: Mancini to mix it up


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