Football - Barry hopes for Emirates hair-raiser

Gareth Barry is determined to ensure that Arsenal are shocked by more than just Mario Balotelli's new hairstyle as Manchester City aim for a first league win away to the Gunners since 1975 this weekend.

PA Sport

Only a week ago, Balotelli was being hauled away from manager Roberto Mancini following a training ground bust-up.

But it seems the 22-year-old's flamboyant nature has not been affected by such strife, as he turned up at City's Carrington base on Thursday morning with his hair bleached bright blond, ensuring he stands out in any crowd.

The Blues were happy enough to post the images on their own website, underlining that Balotelli remains very much within the fold as Mancini indicated last week.

City will certainly hope the Italy forward is fully focused this weekend, when he returns to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since his staggering appearance last April, when he should have been sent off for an atrocious tackle on Alex Song and eventually did see red for two bookable offences.

Afterwards, Mancini both conceded the title and told Balotelli he would never play for the club again, neither of which proved to be accurate.

Yet the former Inter Milan man's influence has certainly waned this season as City have struggled to match last term's form. Currently seven points adrift of leaders Manchester United, Barry feels its time City made their mark in north London.

"I wasn't aware it had been so long," the England midfielder told the club's official website. "Football is like that sometimes but 37 years is extraordinary. Records like that are rare but are there to be broken.

"We have to go to the Emirates, play as well as we know we are capable of and see if we can put an end to our poor run of league results on their ground."

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