City's Silva faces race against time to be fit for crunch Manchester derby
17:58 GMT, 3 December 2012
Manchester City have been rocked by an injury setback after it emerged influential playmaker David Silva is a major doubt for Sunday's derby at the Etihad Stadium.
Silva is suffering from a hamstring injury and has already been ruled out of tomorrow tonight's Champions' League group finale against Borussia Dortmund.
Of more concern to manager Roberto
Mancini, the little Spain forward could also miss the eagerly awaited
visit of Manchester United, when City will go all out to close a
three-point gap on the Barclays Premier League leaders.
Doubt: David Silva (left) could miss Manchester City's clash with United
'Silva is not here because he has a hamstring injury, and we do not know at the moment if he can recover in time for the derby,' said Mancini. 'We will try, but we will have to see.'
Meanwhile, Martin Atkinson will take charge of the Manchester derby despite his controversial brushes with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in the past.
Although City versus United is too early
in the season to be billed as a title-decider, the rivals are clear of
the chasing pack and the clash will prove crucial to the shape of the
league ahead of the jam-packed Christmas schedule.
Previous: Sir Alex Ferguson and referee Martin Atkinson have history
Ferguson was initially handed a five-match touchline ban and fined 30,000 by the Football Association last year for his comments about referee Martin Atkinson following United’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Speaking after the game at Stamford Bridge, Ferguson said he had ‘feared the worst’ after hearing Atkinson was in charge of that Premier League.