Roberto Mancini does not trust squad to ensure title for Man City

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Kieran Lee, Dong Fangzhou, Federico Macheda, Lenny Pidgeley and Christopher Wreh are all examples of players who have played top-flight matches in a season for a team crowned Premier League champions.

None of these players would have arguably begun the season expecting to play games and were only really called up at a time of slight desperation when a squad was pushed to its limits.

But it seems that Roberto Mancini does not have the same faith in the squad players pulling through for a few games at Manchester City in the coming weeks, as he is asking for more money to spend to win the Premier League title for the first time.

Despite having spent £250m since taking charge of Manchester City, substantially more than every other Premier League manager in the past two years, he is currently suggesting that his squad is too weak.

Mancini is having to cope with his first real crisis in terms of available players, with Yaya and Kolo Toure expected to be away until at least the start of February at the African Nations Cup and Vincent Kompany soon to be begin a four-game suspension.

Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and David Silva all also short of full fitness because of slight niggles.

This has led Mancini to suggest he needs to dip into the transfer market to sign some reinforcements, with Eric Abidal and Robin Van Persie among the names tentatively linked.

However, Mancini should be able to follow in the footsteps of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson and allow some youngsters the odd game or substitute appearance to cover this brief period of trouble.

Denis Suarez, Abdul Razak and Luca Scapuzzi have all been trusted in the Carling Cup this season and helped secure a 5-2 success over Premier League club Wolves, while Nedum Onuoha and Stefan Savic are experienced enough to step in.

Manchester City’s odds are 4/9 to win the Premier League this season with their current three-point cushion and these players can do a job for a few games to keep the club’s season on track, without resorting unnecessarily to the transfer market.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.