Boateng and Kolarov miss out in Europe
- 18 August 2010 12:41
- Posted by Chris Bailey
Summer signings Aleksandar Kolarov and Jerome Boateng will both miss the Blues’ debut in the Europa League.
Neither defender has travelled to Romania for the first leg of the play-off tie with FC Timisoara.
Germany star Boateng has a deep cut on the inside of his knee and will be missing for another week or so. He could be back to play some part in the second leg but more likely for the Premier League contest at Sunderland.
Kolarov’s injury is more serious, having damaged ankle ligaments in the draw at Spurs.
Mancini will make changes for tomorrow’s tie against the Romanians but they will not be wholesale.
Joe Hart, however, will remain in goal after his heroics in the 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane.
“I will make maybe two or three changes but we have the players that allow me to do that,” declared Mancini as the squad landed in Romania.
“I was pleased with the spirit and the fight at Tottenham. They are a good side that has been together for a long period of time.
"They were very good in the first half but we played well in the second and had 61% of possession. To dominate the ball like we did was excellent.
We still need time to gel as a unit - I only had all the players for one day before the match, so I want to see more of them in this tie
“Joe Hart will play. I had a very difficult choice to make before the Spurs game because I have two world-class goalkeepers. It is difficult for one of them to sit on the bench.
“I respect Shay Given a lot. He is a good man and I want him to stay, but I also understand any decision he might make.”
Mancini’s main selection dilemma is at left back, where in addition to Kolarov he will also be missing Wayne Bridge, who has a broken bone in his foot.
Young Republic of Ireland international Greg Cunningham, who signed a new deal this week, will be in contention although Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott have also played in that position.
Mario Balotelli may make his debut up front.