Tevez nears comeback as City, United enter run-in

London: The once-impossible idea of Carlos Tevez ever playing for Manchester City again could actually become reality on Sunday when the leaders travel to Swansea City as the race for the Premier League title enters the home straight.

Argentina striker Tevez, who had a spectacular falling out with manager Roberto Mancini last September, netted in a 3-1 win for the reserves against Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday watched by an appreciative crowd of around 1,000.

Mancini said Tevez was finished at the club when he ignored an order to warm up as a substitute against Bayern Munich in a Champions League match. However, after City failed to sell him and Tevez apologised, the forward is back in contention.

"His attitude has been absolutely first class," City reserve team coach Andy Welsh told the club website.

Title rivals Manchester United killed off Tottenham Hotspur`s championship hopes with a 3-1 win last weekend and on Sunday host in-form West Bromwich Albion, whose 1-0 victory over Chelsea last Saturday cost Andre Villas-Boas his job.

The young Portuguese boss was sacked on Sunday after an erratic eight months in charge at Stamford Bridge. His former assistant Roberto Di Matteo is now preparing for his home debut as interim manager against mid-table Stoke City on Saturday.

Di Matteo`s stint got off to a winning start on Tuesday when his side beat Birmingham City 2-0 in an FA Cup fifth round replay and despite their ups and downs this season, Chelsea are very much in the hunt for the fourth Champions League place.

With 11 matches to play, City lead the standings with 66 points - two clear of United - followed by Spurs on 53, Arsenal on 49 and Chelsea on 46. Newcastle United have 44.


Spurs, who beat League One (third tier) Stevenage 3-1 in their FA Cup fifth round replay on Wednesday, visit Everton on Saturday and will be looking to get their league campaign back on track as the race for third hots up.

Harry Redknapp`s side have suffered two successive demoralising league defeats, losing 5-2 at rivals Arsenal after leading 2-0 and being beaten 3-1 at home by Manchester United.

If Spurs had beaten Arsenal they would have moved 10 points clear of Arsene Wenger`s men but their rivals could narrow the gap to one point if Spurs lose again and Arsenal beat Newcastle on Monday.

Arsenal, who won 2-1 at Liverpool last weekend, almost pulled off an impossible feat on Tuesday when they beat AC Milan 3-0 in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie having lost the first leg 4-0.

The London side were very impressive in the first half against Milan and their goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny believes they are good enough to overhaul Spurs and finish third despite trailing them for most of the season.

"I would not settle right now for fourth place. We are four points behind the other north London club - I am not going to say their name - and hopefully we can challenge them," he said after Tuesday`s bitter-sweet match.

"Hopefully Chelsea can challenge them for fourth place and I would be really pleased to see them (Spurs) in the Europa League next season. That would be fantastic. Hopefully they will be looking at this result and are looking over their shoulders.

"The momentum is with us. We won two fantastic games against Liverpool and Tottenham and we won a great game against Milan."

At the other end of the table there are vital relegation battles on Saturday with Bolton Wanderers hosting Queens Park Rangers and Wolverhampton Wanderers welcoming Blackburn Rovers, four of the five bottom clubs.

Wigan Athletic, who are bottom, are at mid-table Norwich City on Sunday.

Bureau Report

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