Man City back standing fans

Juventus striker Nicklas Bendtner has undergone successful

surgery on a thigh injury, the Serie A club have confirmed.

The on-loan Arsenal forward was treated in London by Arsenal

consultant Ernest Schilders after suffering the injury in last

week’s Coppa Italia meeting with Cagliari.

A statement on Juve’s official website confirmed that the

24-year-old has had the adductor longus tendon in his left thigh

reinserted, with his prognosis and rehabilitation schedule to be

verified with English doctors over the next few days.

Bendtner, who is likely to miss at least two months, has been a

peripheral figure since joining the Italian champions on a

season-long loan this summer.

Williams is aware of the threat posed by Van Persie, but he

believes Swansea have a plan to keep the Dutchman quiet on

Sunday.

Wales captain Williams, who was named man of the match in last

Sunday’s defeat against Tottenham, is relishing the challenge of

pitting his wits against Van Persie and feels the key to stopping

him is to cut off his supply line.

“Van Persie’s on fire at the minute and playing with a lot of

confidence so we just have to work to stop him and stop the service

into him,” Williams told the Daily Express.

“There’s no doubt he’s going to get a couple of chances, that’s

just the way it goes against a quality team, but we have to

dominate possession and starve them.

“He’s one of the best strikers in the Premier League if not the

best. Technically he’s very good and you can all see his

goalscoring abilities.

“He’s a complete player and was one of the best I played against

last season. You watch Manchester United so many times so you know

what they’re all about. But trying to stop them is a different

thing altogether.”

United did the double over Swansea last season and Williams

feels they showed too much respect to Sir Alex Ferguson’s side last

term at the Liberty Stadium when they lost 1-0.

However, Williams has promised things will be different this

time and that Swansea will show no fear against the current Premier

League leaders.

“It is true that we showed United too much respect last season.

We sat back too much in that first half and then got at them,”

added Williams.

“We deserved a draw at least. Scott Sinclair missed a chance, an

open goal, and they had one chance.

“But this season we’ve got a lot more belief. We don’t fear

anyone. We’re at home and we’ve lost two on the bounce so it would

be great going into Christmas to get a positive result.”

Messi’s current deal runs until June 2016 and the new agreement

will keep him at the Nou Camp beyond his 31st birthday.

The forward has enjoyed an extraordinary year, even by his own

remarkable standards, netting his 89th and 90th goals of 2012 at

the weekend.

The 25-year-old had already surpassed Gerd Muller’s 40-year-old

record of 85 goals in a calendar year.

He is also in contention to claim a fourth successive FIFA

Ballon d’Or crown, being named on a three-man shortlist alongside

Cristiano Ronaldo and team-mate Andres Iniesta.

The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has become

increasingly vocal in wanting to bring back elements of terracing

with the Premier League champions, West Ham and Aston Villa all

behind the move.

A club spokesman said: “Manchester City Football Club is

supportive of initiatives to enhance – safely – our fans’ match-day

experience, if supported by the appropriate football

authorities.”

The FSF’s Safe Standing Campaign is supported by clubs of all

divisions including Brentford, Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff City,

Crystal Palace, Derby County, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City,

Peterborough United, Watford, AFC Wimbledon, the Scottish Premier

League, the Safe Standing Roadshow and Stand Up Sit Down.

They are calling for the introduction of a pilot of ‘railed

seats’ – new standing technology which are used in Germany. They

are metal seats that can be folded up to create wider

clearways.

Aston Villa and Peterborough United have already given the nod

to a small scale trial of the technology.

However, the call for terracing was recently lambasted by the

Hillsborough Family Support Group set up after the death of 96

people at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium in April

1989.

Chairwoman Margaret Aspinall said: “There are 96 reasons why it

should not be allowed. Standing should never, ever come back. I do

not think there is anything safe about standing.

“I feel insulted that while people are trying to fight for

justice for Hillsborough, that this campaign is growing now.”