Manchester City are being made to sweat on the fitness of Samir Nasri after the winger remains a doubt to face his former club on Sunday.
The Frenchman limped off the field during City’s 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday with a hamstring problem.
And although the Blues have dismissed that it is a serious injury, Roberto Mancini is adamant that he will not rush the 25-year-old back into the squad.
"I do not think he will be ready for Sunday," said the Italian. "We will try but it is difficult.
"But I hope he will be okay for next week."
But Mancini will be boosted by the return of Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero, who is fit to start his first Premier League game since the first day of the season.
And after Mario Balotelli was declared fit to play, despite being left out of the team that travelled to Madrid, Mancini is denying yet another bust-up with his enigmatic prodigy.
"This story is totally false," he claimed. "Mario went in the stand only because we started to play with Carlos Tevez in attack and we couldn't have three strikers on the bench.
"There has been no argument, and no row.
City will join many other clubs across Greater Manchester in wearing black armbands this weekend in respect of female officers PC Fiona Bone, 32, and PC Nicola Hughes, 23, who were shot dead in Hyde on Tuesday.