FA Cup preview: Manchester City v Reading

On paper a home tie against Championship opposition might look like an straightforward tie. The reality is different for a City side currently on a run of tired performances and having only arrived back from the Ukraine at 5am on Friday.

As a result, it’s to be hoped that Mancini endeavours to refresh the side. The most welcome returnee would be Nigel de Jong. Boateng, Vieira, Boyata and Jo all missed out in Kiev and should be considered. Tevez and Wright-Phillips only made substitute appearances and would be fresher than the likes of Barry and Yaya.

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Cup runs could leave City playing two games a week EVERY week

If City continue to progress in the FA Cup and Europa League then they’re likely to have to play twice a week every week until the end of the season. The league games against Tottenham and Stoke would need to be moved to accommodate cup games with the only available slots being around Wednesday 20 April for Spurs and Wednesday 11 May for Stoke.

Having not played in a cup final since 1981, City could face the ridiculous situation of having to play two before the final league game at Bolton! A replay against Reading could leave City playing three games in one week.

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FA Cup verdict: Manchester City 3 Aston Villa 0

Thank you Gerard. City triumphed far more comfortably than had been anticipated after the Villa manager made eight changes from his previous line-up. An early strike from Yaya Toure put City on their way to a quarter final tie against Reading.

Initially both managers looked to have sent out weakened sides with Mancini electing to keep Tevez and Dzeko on the bench. The Italian admitted afterwards that playing Balotelli as a lone striker had been a gamble.

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