Premier League - Mancini: Tevez set to return

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed controversial striker Carlos Tevez could return in next week's clash against Chelsea.

PA Sport

Tevez, who has not played for City since last September due to his infamous dispute with the club, has been training for the past month with a view to a first-team comeback.

The Argentinian has made two appearances for the reserves since returning from his unauthorised leave and Mancini believes he could now be close to match fitness.

The 28-year-old's return could give the team a timely lift after defeat at Swansea on Sunday saw them surrender top spot in the Premier League to arch-rivals Manchester United.

City are not in league action again until Chelsea visit the Etihad Stadium next Wednesday, by which time United could be four points ahead.

Asked if Tevez could be available for that game, Mancini said: "We will see in the next week. It depends on Carlos. If Carlos is okay then probably, but it depends on a lot of things."

The 1-0 loss at the Liberty Stadium came at the end of a bad week in which City were also beaten by the same scoreline in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.

Mancini wants his team to refocus quickly knowing that, with a game against United still to come, the title is still within their grasp.

The Italian said: "I think that in Portugal and against Swansea we did not play a very good game, we did not play like Manchester City usually play. We didn't deserve to lose both games but I think we need to play better.

"We can't cry, now is the time to be strong and keep going. We have a top team and we have time to recover. We can't cry because we are one point behind Manchester United. We have 10 games, our fortune is in our hands and we can change it if we want to. Like we lost points against Swansea, United can lose points against Wolverhampton. Every game will be difficult for both teams."

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