Roberto Mancini has his City side badly misfiring in the Champions League and they need two wins from their last two games to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages.
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Mancini can justifiably claim that he hasn't had the rub of the green and when they led 2-1 when these teams last met at the Bernabeu it was all looking much rosier in the garden.
With four minutes to go City managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by conceding late goals to Benzema and Ronaldo and since then it has been a rocky road all the way.
In the last game against Ajax, City were clearly denied a last gasp penalty appeal when Balotelli was having his shirt ripped off his back but the referee chose to turn a blind eye and disallowed a late Sergio Aguro strike to add insult to injury.
That game finished 2-2 and the sight of Mancini marching on to the pitch to berate the officials with his poncy scarf wrapped around his neck was worth watching for laughter value.
Mancini has the same problem with his strike force as Di Matteo had with his. Having one sulky and temperamental striker on the books makes life difficult and Mancini should do what his instincts tell him to do and get rid of Balotelli.
That he hasn't tells you what you need to know about his strengths as a European coach. He's really not very good at the highest level and his record at Inter Milan bears that out.
By contrast Jose Mourinho is tactically streets ahead of the Italian and this could well be the year when he wins his third Champion s league title. That would be some achievement.
Under Mourinho, Balotelli would have got his marching orders a long time ago and that is the difference in mentality between the two managers. Somehow you think the Tevez affair would have been handled completely differently if it happened at Real Madrid.
I expect Real Madrid to win this game and dump City out of the competition which is bad news for Liverpool because Chelsea will be there as well.