A broken finger is threatening to rule Samir Nasri out of Manchester City’s upcoming home clash with Premier League neighbours Wigan, but Adam Johnson is ready to step in to prove his worth.
Nasri made a sparkling debut for Roberto Mancini’s side, setting up two goals in the 5-1 away drubbing of Tottenham.
A home debut against Wigan should be next for the Frenchman, but this big moment may be put back after picking up the hand injury while on international duty with France.
Logically, the injury should not prevent him from playing with some sort of cast on, but Mancini may not want to take any risks as City look to build on their perfect start to the season.
Manchester City’s odds are 1/6 to beat Wigan and their squad is certainly strong enough to secure maximum points without the need to start Nasri.
It would be no surprise if Mancini handed starts to a few of his squad players, with Johnson and James Milner in contention to replace Nasri.
However, with Nigel De Jong still injured, Milner may be employed in a more defensive central role to replace either Gareth Barry or James Milner, who have yet to have a break so far this season.
Replacing Johnson with Nasri may be no bad thing, as the England winger’s added pace and directness could pose greater troubles for a Wigan defence built on size rather than mobility.
With Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli also on midweek international duty, a rested Carlos Tevez could get the nod in attack.
Tevez is 3/1 to open the scoring and 8/13 to find the target at any time in the 90 minutes.
However, Wigan have won away twice to Manchester City since establishing themselves in the Premier League and are still unbeaten in the current campaign.
It is 6/1 in the Premier League odds that Wigan can leave with a point and 16/1 that they land an unlikely victory.