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Premier League

Roberto Mancini considering five-man attack

Roberto Mancini is ready to shed his cautious image by unleashing a five-man attack on Manchester City's unsuspecting Premier League rivals.

The arrival of £27million Edin Dzeko from Wolfsburg has given the City boss an embarrassment of attacking riches.

In addition to Dzeko, Mancini can also call upon the services of Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, David Silva and Adam Johnson.

And whilst the Italian accepts it might be a gamble, he is not prepared to discount using all five at the same time.

"Sometimes it will be possible to play all of them," said Mancini.

"Any team must have balance. But when we played Birmingham and Blackburn earlier in the season, we spent 90 minutes in their box without scoring. In games like that it will be possible."

It is matches such as the home draws to which Mancini refers that may ultimately prove fatal to City's chances of securing the Premier League title in his first full season.

But it is those games, and the stalemate with Arsenal earlier this month, when Mancini feels the giant Dzeko can make a significant contribution.

"I hope Edin can make the difference between second place and first because he is a good player who maybe in 10 difficult games can be decisive," said Mancini.

"If we had him against Arsenal for instance, it would probably have been a different result.

"He is strong, tall, plays football very well with left and right and scores a lot of goals."

Not that Dzeko will have the chance to team up with Balotelli for a while.

As the Bosnian looks ahead to a potential debut against Wolves at Eastlands on Saturday, Balotelli is preparing to spend a period on the sidelines, with Mancini admitting he is starting to get concerned about the 20-year-old's knee problems.

"It is bad news," admitted the City chief.

"I am worried because he can't play for another three or four weeks at an important moment for us.

"To have an operation done and then to have another problem two months later is strange.

"He may need surgery. We just don't know. He must rest, then he will have treatment and work. Hopefully then he will be okay."