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Wednesday 14 December 2011

Richards fitness boost for Manchester City

Defender set to return for Sunday's Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal

Richards has been a mainstay on the right side of defence for City this season

Defender Micah Richards looks set to return for Manchester City for their Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal on Sunday.

The full-back has been recovering from a calf strain which has kept him out of the City team since the 5-1 home victory over Norwich on 3 December.

City boss Roberto Mancini is without left-backs Gael Clichy, who serves a one-match suspension following his red card against Chelsea, and Aleksandar Kolarov, who has sustained a groin injury.

"We are strong enough to start winning again and one result doesn't change anything."
- Roberto Mancini

The Italian said he could play Argentine Pablo Zabaleta at left-back, allowing Richards to slot into his normal role on the right side of defence.

"I think Micah will be OK for Sunday," said Mancini. "We have Pablo, who can play on the left."

City suffered their first Barlcays Premier League defeat of the season on Monday after a 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

But Mancini is confident his team have sufficient resolve to return to winning ways at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

"The season is long. We have said that before," added Mancini.

"We are strong enough to start winning again and one result doesn't change anything.

"We know if we want to win, we should continue to play well, like we did at Chelsea."

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Key Points

  • Micah Richards set to return for Manchester City
  • Mancini says right-back likely to start against Arsenal
  • City are without left-backs Kolarov and Clichy