Out in Africa! Mancini admits loss of Toure brothers to Cup of Nations will affect trophy hunt
12:03 GMT, 31 December 2012
Roberto Mancini has warned that his team may have a difficult January after losing Toure brothers Kolo and Yaya to the African Nations Cup.
The two City players will be missing for a month as City face an important run of games in the Barclays Premier League and FA Cup.
This morning Mancini said: 'Yes, we could have a problem.
Problem: Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini admits the loss of Yaya and Kolo Toure to the Africa Cup of Nations could affect their title challenge in January
'Micah Richards wont be ready to play until February while Jack Rodwell is out indefinitely and Kolarov is out for two weeks.
'Certainly we cant sell any players as we don't have any players to fill in.'
City face Stoke at home tomorrow after bringing the curtain down on a year that saw them win the Premier League.
Mancini added: 'This was a fantastic year for us, a fantastic season.
'I hope next year will be the same. I always hope the next year will be better but to be the same would be great.
Missing: Yaya Toure will be playing for the Ivory Coast in the tournament, which kicks off in South Africa on January 19
Africa bound: Yaya's brother, Kolo, will also be playing in the three-week tournament
'We have a chance to have a fantastic 2013.'
Mancini has a selection dilemma tomorrow after striker Edin Dzeko scored a hat-trick in the 4-3 win at Norwich on Saturday.
Asked if the Bosnian will definitely play tomorrow, he said: 'if he scored three goals every time he will stay in every week.
'he played very well at Norwich but there are 23 players who want to play every week and that's impossible.'
CITY MATCHES THE TOURE BROTHERS COULD MISS
January 13 – Arsenal (A)
January 19 – Fulham (H)
January 26 – Possible FA Cup fourth round
January 29 – Queens Park Rangers (A)
February 3 – Liverpool (H)
February 9 – Southampton (A)