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Roberto Mancini at end of his tether with controversial striker

| 02.04.2012

Even after a two goal haul in Manchester City’s 3-3 draw with Sunderland at the weekend, Mario Balotelli’s conduct in the game has seen Ladbrokes offer 1/1 on him remaining at Eastlands by 1 September this year.

Balotelli’s petulance came to the fore as he was turned away from free-kick duties, and it has now emerged that the controversial Italian was also at the centre of a dressing room bust-up.

A confrontation with Yaya Toure is believed to have occurred, and this may be the final straw for his boss Roberto Mancini, who noted that the striker could not be trusted in his press conference prior to Saturday’s events.

Mancini’s open criticism of his player will not sit well with the erratic 21-year-old, and you can now back Balotelli to make a stand in a similar way to his recently-returned team-mate Carlos Tevez, by refusing to come off the bench during a game this season, at 20/1.

It appears almost impossible to read Balotelli, as he has proved on numerous occasions throughout the season both on and off the pitch, and it may be worth taking advantage of that price regarding a player who possesses such an unpredictable temperament.

However, it should not be forgotten that Balotelli did manage to net a brace on Saturday, notching either side of half-time to help snatch a point for title-challenging City.

The Eastlands outfit have been pushed out to 4/1 for the title in the aftermath of their draw on Saturday, and much will depend on what occurs in between now and the Manchester derby in late April.

It is far from unthinkable to see Balotelli still playing a big part for the remainder of the season, especially as for now, he is still doing the business on the pitch.

He opened the scoring in the Old Trafford clash with Manchester United earlier in the season, and is now 10/1 to score the last goal in a City win when the teams meet at Eastlands, which is not unfathomable.



John Klee