Roberto Mancini has hinted at a possible shock return for Mario Balotelli in Monday night’s crucial derby against United, a game the Citizens are 6/5 to win.
The controversial 21-year old has not pulled on a City jersey since his needless sending off against Arsenal at the Emirates, and after that fixture his manager claimed he would not play again this season.
However, his boss, who has already produced one U-turn in allowing Carlos Tevez to turn out for the club again, is set to offer Balotelli yet another olive branch in the hope he can sink Fergie’s side and fire the Sky Blues to the title.
When asked about the Italy striker’s potential involvement Mancini had this to say.
“It’s difficult to say today if I will recall Balotelli but everyone is available and I will make my choice on Sunday.
“Despite some stupid things he has done, Mario has done some important things, like his double strike at Old Trafford this season.
“With him anything is possible.”
Balotelli was indeed pivotal in the now infamous 6-1 triumph against their rivals, and he undoubtedly caused United all manner of problems throughout the game.
Should Mancini opt to start with the unpredictable forward, who has hit 17 goals this term, there are odds of 8/1 on him netting first.
However, it is unlikely that the partnership of Sergio Aguero and Tevez will be broken up, so it may be more appealing to put money behind the former Inter man notching the final goal at the same price.
As well as being a threat in front of goal, Balotelli can prove a liability, as he has shown countless times this season, no more so than when picking up red cards in crucial games at Arsenal, as mentioned above, and Liverpool.
He is 8/1 to pick up the first card of any colour at the Etihad.