• Premier League

Balotelli & Aguero fitness boost for City

ESPN staff
September 14, 2012

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has confirmed Mario Balotelli will be fit to play against Stoke on Saturday, while he is hopeful Sergio Aguero will make the starting XI.

Balotelli had an operation earlier this month to correct short sightedness, and subsequently there were suggestions he may be a doubt for the match at the Britannia Stadium - and the Champions League tie at Real Madrid next week.

However, Mancini has now put these rumours to rest. "Mario is fine. He can now see everything," he said.

There is more concern over the fitness of Aguero, who returned to training this week following a knee injury. He has not played for City since the opening game of the season against Southampton, in which he was substituted after a tackle from Nathaniel Clyne.

A final decision on Aguero will be taken after Friday's training session and Mancini said: "He is getting better."

New signing Javi Garcia is available to make his debut after completing his £16 million move from Benfica on transfer deadline day.

The Spain international has been working at Carrington during the international break but Matija Nastasic, the defender signed from Fiorentina at the end of August, has been away with Serbia and will be assessed after he trains with his new team-mates for the first time.

Mancini welcomed the news that work is beginning on City's new £200 million training complex, which will be completed in 2014.

The Italian hopes he will still be in charge then to enjoy the state-of-the-art centre. "I will try to be there because I think the new training facility will be fantastic," he said.

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