x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Lescott is a doubt for World Cup

The centre-back has been ruled out of Manchester City's final two games of the Premier League season.

Joleon Lescott has been ruled out of Manchester City's final two games of the Premier League season. Roberto Mancini, the City manager, confirmed yesterday that Lescott, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, will miss tonight's clash with Tottenham at Eastlands and Sunday's trip to West Ham. Mancini expects the former Everton centre-back to be fit in time for England's World Cup campaign in South Africa, but the injury is bound to raise question marks over Lescott's hopes of being involved in the tournament.

Although Fabio Capello is not due to name his squad until June 1, it seems unlikely the Italian will include a fringe player who is so lacking in full match practice. Mancini, though, is still hoping for the best, saying: "I hope Joleon will be fit for the World Cup. He has another 14 days after the Premier League season finishes." Mancini will welcome back Gareth Barry for the crucial game against Spurs, when a victory would leave City in pole position to clinch a Champions League berth for the first time in their history. The midfielder missed Saturday's win over his former club Aston Villa with a hamstring injury,.

The tension around the club has been palpable in recent weeks, yet the Italian added: "We must not be nervous. We must concentrate 100 per cent. But there is no pressure. It is not a war. "We are in the Europa League next season. Now we have a chance to do more. We have worked for a year to get into this position." Harry Redknapp, the Spurs manager, is sweating on the fitness of Ledley King, his centre-half, and Heurelho Gomes, the goalkeeper. King's long-standing knee problem means he is a doubt while Gomes has a muscle injury sustained in the win over Bolton last weekend. Young goalkeeper Ben Alnwick stands by to replace Gomes. * PA