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Mancini relishing Zola test

Roberto Mancini is looking forward to pitting his wits against fellow Italian Gianfranco Zola in Saturday's FA Cup third round tie with Watford.

Last Updated: 05/01/13 at 14:05 Post Comment

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola

The pair, both renowned attacking players, were regular opponents in Serie A and were competitors for a place in the Italy team in the 1990s.

And Manchester City boss Mancini says he is a big fan of Zola, who was West Ham boss for two years before being sacked in 2010.

"I respected him as a player when he played and now as a manager. I think he did a good job when he was at West Ham and now with Watford," he said.

"He was a fantastic player, his quality was of top level. He did very well in Italy and very well in England with Chelsea.

"As a manager you need time but he still did very well with West Ham and I think he has a good chance to bring Watford into the first division because he knows football very well."

Zola's Hornets can expect to face a strong City side as Mancini insists he has few options within his squad for the game.

"The FA Cup is totally different from the Premier League. Probably for Watford it is the most important game in the year and we won't change a lot of players - we don't have the players," he said.

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ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

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f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

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ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

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