Bridge set for Chelsea start
City full-back to face John Terry in crunch league clash
By James Riach. Last Updated: February 26, 2010 12:34pm
Bridge: To play for City
Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge is set to line up against John Terry at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
City travel to Chelsea in the weekend's first Premier League game as the table-toppers look to extend their lead over Manchester United to four points.
But the spotlight will again be on Bridge, who will face Terry for the first time since the allegations that the former England captain had an affair with the City full-back's ex-girlfriend.
After weeks of media exposure, Bridge decided to pull himself out of the running for England on Thursday, leaving Three Lions boss Fabio Capello short of options at left-back.
He opted to turn his back on the World Cup, saying his position in the squad was 'untenable and potentially divisive'.
However, City manager Roberto Mancini insists he is in the right frame of mind to play against Carlo Ancelotti's side.
"I think Wayne is okay," said the Italian.
"I don't know what has happened in the last two weeks but I am sorry for him.
"But mentally he is fine. He is an important player for us and we want him to play.
"Wayne must only think about the game. He is a very good player and a good man. I hope he will play well tomorrow."
Bridge has started 17 Premier League games for City so far this season and will be hoping a good performance against Chelsea can help his side consolidate their push for UEFA Champions League football.
Mancini is happy to have him available for the trip to West London, although the former Inter boss was surprised to hear the defender's choice to turn his back on England.
"I thought Wayne would stay with the national team," he added
"It must have been a very difficult decision because I know how important the national team is for any player."