Rodwell could make City return

BY foxsports • January 18, 2013

Wigan are likely to revert to a more familiar line-up for their Premier League clash with Sunderland after making nine changes in the FA Cup in midweek.

But manager Roberto Martinez has issues in defence with Antolin Alcaraz (groin) training but not yet match fit and Ivan Ramis (knee) ruled out for the season.

The new pair of midfielder Roger Espinoza and striker Angelo Henriquez are pushing for places but defender Adrian Lopez (hamstring) and midfielders Ben Watson (broken leg), Albert Crusat (knee) and Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) are still out.

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill will hope to have John O'Shea and Steven Fletcher back at his disposal at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

The Republic of Ireland defender was rested for Tuesday night's 2-0 FA Cup third round replay defeat by Bolton after complaining of tightness in his hamstring, while the Scotland striker missed out through illness, but both are expected to return.

Defender Kader Mangane and midfielder Alfred N'Diaye could be included after being ineligible in midweek, although the former is short of match fitness, but skipper Lee Cattermole is likely to miss out despite returning as a substitute against Bolton after aggravating his knee problem.

The 21-year-old midfielder has been earmarked for a place on the bench after three months on the sidelines with hamstring problems.

Rodwell, who has started only two Premier League games since his ?12million summer move from Everton, was injured on England Under-21 duty in October.

Last season's top scorer Sergio Aguero, who tore a hamstring in the New Year's Day win over Stoke, is also fit to return.

Manager Roberto Mancini said: "I am happy because I am sure Jack will be an important player for us in the future, because he is young.

"If we have solved his problem - his hamstring injuries have been often - he will be an important player.

"Tomorrow he will be ready, but probably for 20 minutes, no more."

Rodwell was also plagued by hamstring injuries during his early career at Everton.

City are still without Yaya and Kolo Toure due to the African Nations Cup but Samir Nasri is available again after suspension.

Right-backs Micah Richards and Maicon, who have knee injuries, are the only injury concerns.

Mancini said: "Sergio is fit and Jack is back. We are now missing only Micah and Maicon."

The champions' problems were also eased this week as captain Vincent Kompany succeeded in his appeal against his sending-off in last Sunday's win at Arsenal.

Kompany was facing the prospect of a three-match suspension which, during the absence of Kolo Toure, would have significantly increased Mancini's defensive concerns.

Mancini said: "I am very pleased because I think it is correct, like this.

"The referee managed the game very well but, in that situation, probably he didn't see great.

"From his position he thought it was a red card but I think that tackle was not a red card."


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