David Silva is expected to return for City tomorrow but Yaya Toure is unlikely to feature. Alan Pardew is happy with an angry Demba Ba, Harry Redknapp regrets a change of formation against Norwich, while both Liam Ridgewell and Chris Brunt are doubts for West Brom’s trip to the Etihad:
Roberto Mancini has today revealed he expects Yaya Toure to miss out for City in tomorrow’s match with West Brom. The Ivorian was subbed off early with a knee problem in Sunday’s loss at Arsenal but should be fit to return for the weekend trip to Wolves, according to his manager. David Silva has recovered from the knee problem that forced him out of the Gunners clash and has returned to training today – Mancini expects the playmaker to be fit and available for the Baggies clash as City look to return to winning ways at the Etihad.
Alan Pardew has admitted he is pleased with Demba Ba’s angry reaction to being subbed off in the 2-0 win over Bolton. The forward refused to shake his manager’s hand after being withdrawn just after the hour mark in Monday’s win and has now gone nine games without a goal for the Magpies, as Papiss Cisse and Hatem Bern Arfa continue to steal the headlines. Pardew revealed the move was designed to provoke the player in an attempt to re-ignite his spark after a series of poor performances:
Demba was upset when I brought him off. I was trying to get a reaction from him, if I’m honest. I want him to be angry and fight. He’ll come out fighting. I know Demba, and I’ve got no worries about him. It wasn’t Demba’s day, but it might be in two weeks’ time. Ba, Shola[Ameobi], Papiss [Cisse] and Hatem[Ben Arfa] all have massive roles to play for us between now and the end of the season.
Ashley Cole is an injury worry for Chelsea ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup Semi-Final with Tottenham. The left-back has missed the last couple of league games due to an ankle problem and will be assessed over the next few days, with Roberto Di Matteo hopeful of a quick return.
Bryan Ruiz has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a broken metatarsal. The Costa Rican has made a minimal impact since moving to Fulham last summer, with just a couple of goals and four assists to show for his toils. Martin Jol confirmed after last night’s draw with Chelsea that Ruiz will now be sidelined until June or July with the problem.
While Harry Redknapp was magnanimous in defeat after yesterday’s loss to Norwich, the Spurs boss was left ruing his decision to switch to a 4-4-2. The north London outfit have lined up in a 4-3-3 formation in recent weeks but Redknapp’s change of shape, in addition to making five changes to his side with the FA Cup Semi-Final against Chelsea in mind, saw his side come undone:
I thought we’d go with four forwards, play 4-4-2 and on paper it looks a really exciting, attacking team, but we looked too open playing that way. It’s alright playing a 4-4-2 if it’s a tight 4-4-2 and when you lose possession, you get back into a four (in midfield). We play 4-4-2 and we’re very open because we’ve got players who want to go forward and want to attack. That was a problem for us.
Roberto Martinez has revealed Hugo Rodallega may be set to miss out for Wigan’s clash with United tomorrow night. The Colombian has missed the last five in a run that has seen the Latics lose just once – Saturday’s controversial defeat at Chelsea – but is close to fitness and should be back for Monday’s trip to Arsenal at the latest.
Roy Hodgson was full of injury updates in this afternoon’s press conference. The West Brom boss revealed Liam Ridgewell and Chris Brunt are both doubts for the trip to City tomorrow due to knee injuries – Hodgson admitted both could return this weekend, though, with his side due to face QPR in Gameweek 34. Jerome Thomas continues to be ruled out with a hamstring problem, while Gabriel Tamas is also unavailable – the defender has flown back to Romania, where his wife is due to give birth.
Andreas Weimann may well have secured a place in Villa’s starting lineup after yesterday’s goal against Stoke. The youngster’s opener helped the midlanders pick up another point and edge further towards safety and, with Gabby Agbonlahor continuing a goal drought that stretches back to Gameweek 11, Alex McLeish has admitted Weimann’s threat is becoming impossible to overlook. Good news, then, for those considering a punt on the 5.0 prioced forward ahead of Villa’s couple of home fixtures against Sunderland and Bolton in double Gameweek 35.
Andreas’ goal was truly inspirational – something out of nothing. He’s manoeuvred himself into the corner and it’s a wonderful goal from a great young prospect. He is a finisher and a good finisher at that, as you saw from that one. Some players are great goalscorers while others are scorers of great goals. Andi proved he can be both. Goals talk. It will be hard to leave him out.