Mancini: Game on for Super Mario

BY foxsports • April 13, 2011

Although there has been no official confirmation from City, it seems highly unlikely that skipper Carlos Tevez will have recovered from a hamstring injury in time to face old club Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday. That would leave Mancini to come up with a striking solution. Balotelli is most likely to get the nod given he has scored 10 times already for City since his arrival from Inter Milan last summer. However, through injuries and a series of side issues, including a performance at Liverpool on Monday that was so disappointing he ended up being substituted even though he himself had replaced Tevez, the 20-year-old can hardly be described as a reliable performer. Yet this weekend, with his club standing on the brink of their first cup final appearance since 1981 and desperate to end a 35-year silverware drought, Mancini feels it is time Balotelli made his mark. "Mario knows he must take more responsibility," said Mancini. "We have six league games, plus the semi-final and the final. I hope Mario can score important goals. "He could be the hero. On Saturday, if he plays, he has a chance to do well. "Maybe if he scores a goal it could take us to the final. That would change his year." Mancini has pledged that City will do everything possible to get Tevez fit. It appears unlikely though, even if fears that he might be out for the rest of the season when he limped off at Anfield prove unfounded. "It will be very difficult for Saturday but he should be okay to return in two weeks," said Mancini. That means more might be asked of Dzeko too. Bought from Wolfsburg for £27million in January, the Bosnian has struggled to adapt to life in England, hitting the net on just four occasions, all of them in cup combat. He does have scoring form against United though, bagging two against Sir Alex Ferguson's men in a couple of Champions League meetings last term. "We need Dzeko to be good now," said Mancini. "He has the same problem that Fernando Torres has at Chelsea. "Dzeko is a fantastic striker but when you join a team in January, he has new team-mates and a new manager with new methods."

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