Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has declared United’s forward line of Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie as “the best in the world”.
In what could be the opening salvo in the yearly battle of mind games waged between opposing managers, the Italian was quick to dismiss his side’s title chances this season, just as he did back in May.
Speaking to The Sun, Mancini remarked:
“They are title favourites. That’s the best [frontline] in the world. For this reason we need to work more. Without Van Persie they are two yards in front. With him, they are five.”
Sir Alex Ferguson will take these comments with a pinch of salt, of course. Mancini went out of his way last season to concede defeat in the title race and remind everyone who would listen just how hopeless his side’s efforts were when United had an eight point lead, seemingly destined for the title, only for them to blow it and hand it to their rivals on the final day of the season.
What cannot be understated though is the potency of United’s attack. Whilst the Red’s may have relied on Wayne Rooney’s form too heavily last season, their options up front suddenly look limitless as the squad has a “fantasy football” feel about it.
New signing Kagawa joins Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Nani and Valencia in supporting Rooney and van Persie in attack this season, a stark fact that will make many a defence tremble at the knees.
But Mancini is content with what he has at his disposal, too, as the two Manchester Clubs look set to go toe to toe for the title once more.
Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez banged in 72 goals between them last season, and the Italian commented:
“I’m happy with my strikers. Last year we did very well. There’s no problem.”
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