Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to Mancunian Matters…
The simple fact is that Manchester City have had big problems with Carlos Tevez and whether they can get over them depends on how the players react to him.
Carlos Tevez has made one or two mistakes and taken time off, but he’s been disciplined and he’s apologised. As long as the players in the dressing room embrace him and accept him back into the fold, then Roberto Mancini doesn’t have to like him and Tevez doesn’t have to like Mancini.
But as long as he’s not upsetting the balance of the dressing room, there shouldn’t be a problem, because whatever the fans think about him he could be pivotal in City winning the league or not.
I think that's what Mancini and David Platt will have firmly in their minds when they welcome him back in. If the players welcome him back then everyone can move on, if they don’t then Tevez will be gone at the end of the season.
In terms of Mario Balotelli being dropped by Italy there is nothing more I can say than he will be what he is, he’s not going to change too much.
Coaches and managers have to accept that, if they want him they have to have him warts and all, or in the Italian case if you don’t want him then you can leave him out. I’m sure Roberto Mancini won’t be too upset that he’s missed an Italian game and he’s much fresher for Manchester City going into the weekend.
I expect City to win against Bolton while United have a much tougher test facing Tottenham. If Spurs hadn’t been hammered 5-2 at Arsenal it might have been an easier job for United, but they are going to be very determined not to lose two in a row and allow Arsenal, who have a tough game at Anfield, and Chelsea to close the gap on them a little.
Ten days ago Tottenham couldn’t hear anything behind them, they were away and clear, but now they can hear the patter of tiny studs behind them. It’s not loud but if they lose against United, Liverpool lose against Arsenal and Chelsea win, that little patter of studs will become very loud indeed for Spurs
It’s a big week for them all, but I think City will be the happiest because they’ll feel they can beat Bolton at the Etihad, unless there’s a major shock, and they’ll hope Tottenham can take something off United. But unless Tottenham win then Chelsea and Arsenal are going to try their damndest to catch them.
I actually fancy both big games to be score draws. I think if Arsenal and United had been at home I would take them to win.
Andy Gray is an official ambassador for Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store; http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/share-the-match/id450784289?mt=8