Mancini expects to lose Yaya

Roberto Mancini expects key midfielder Yaya Toure to leave

Manchester City for the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in


The City manager had wanted to retain Toure’s services during

the early part of 2013 but has confirmed the midfielder is keen to

compete in the tournament.

Toure is expected to join up with the Ivory Coast squad

following the Premier League club’s third round FA Cup tie on

January 5.

Mancini said: “I think he will go to the African Nations Cup

after the Watford game.”

Toure was involved in the 2012 competition when the Ivory Coast

reached the final before losing to Zambia on penalties. Next year’s

competition runs from January 19 to February 10.

Meanwhile, Mancini believes skipper Vincent Kompany has only a

‘two per cent’ chance of being fit for Saturday’s trip to Newcastle

after he suffered a groin injury against Manchester United last


And while City will give the Belgium international every chance

of making the trip to St James’ Park, Mancini doesn’t expect him to

make it.

“We will try but it is difficult,” said Mancini. “Probably two

per cent chance.”

City head to the North-East six points adrift of United

following last weekend’s game at the Etihad Stadium.

Yet despite that 3-2 defeat, Mancini insists he has total belief

in his squad, and that City actually proved themselves to be the

superior side no matter what the result.

“We showed that we were better than Manchester United,” said

Mancini. “But they have more experience than us and it is not a

problem to them when they fall behind.

“We need to work hard but we can recover this position. By

February everything could have changed.”

And the Blues boss also played down talk of nets being required

to preserve player safety after Rio Ferdinand was hit by a coin as

United celebrated Robin van Persie’s injury-time winner.

“Football here is beautiful,” said Mancini. “People here are

very close to the players. I am very sorry for what happened in the

derby. I hope it won’t happen again. But football is better without


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