Adebayor suspension hits City hard

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor will miss the club's entire list of fixtures in March, with his three-match ban for his dismissal at Stoke automatically extended to four because of a prior suspension for violent conduct in the game against Arsenal in September.

City are unlikely to appeal Steve Bennett's decision to send off Adebayor for throwing an arm back at Ryan Shawcross in the 3-1 FA Cup defeat. Manager Roberto Mancini's pill is slightly sweetened by the expected arrival of Carlos Tevez in Manchester today. But given City's struggle to replicate the goalscoring form which characterised the Mark Hughes era – they have managed three goals in four games – Adebayor's presence was badly needed. He will miss the matches with Chelsea, Sunderland, Fulham and Wigan Athletic, games City must win, with their run-in looking more difficult than Liverpool's.

Mancini must also address the Wayne Bridge/John Terry issue ahead of City's potentially combustible trip to Stamford Bridge tomorrow. He is expected to speak to Bridge to ascertain whether he is mentally ready to take part. There are grounds for leaving Bridge out and deploying Javier Garrido instead, though the Italian has grounds to feel traumatised himself. Comfortably his worst game for City came in the 6-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge in October 2007.

Mancini may not have been entirely prepared for Bridge's decision to pull out of the England set-up yesterday. There had been a sense around Eastlands that Bridge was ready to bury the hatchet where Terry is concerned. Ironically, Bridge's decision will prevent him demonstrating the point he always said he had come to Eastlands to prove: that he is as good as Ashley Cole, whose ankle break seemed set to provide Bridge with a World Cup opening.

"I had opportunities to play at Chelsea and I thought I played well. I don't know [why it never worked out]. Maybe Luiz Felipe [Scolari] thinks that Ashley [Cole] is better than me," Bridge said when he arrived at City.

Mancini insisted that "now our focus must be on Chelsea," as he reflected on his side's cup exit. "We have another 12 or 13 games and Saturday is an important one." His loss of Adebayor comes just as the Togolese seemed to be recovering from the trauma of a bus shooting incident before the African Nations Cup.

Pablo Zabaleta sounded a required note of optimism yesterday. "We have a great chance to fight for fourth position," he said. "The race for fourth is very difficult but we have got a great chance to be there."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue