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Visa issue rules Sandro out of crucial QPR clash

Record signing Sandro has played less than half of QPR's league matches. Credit: PA

QPR midfielder Sandro is unavailable for today's crucial match against Man City because of an issue concerning the expiry of his UK working visa.

The West London side will be relegated to the Championship unless they beat City in Manchester, but must do so without their record signing.

A report in today's Sunday Mirror suggested the Brazilian would not feature and the club have released a statement this afternoon, explaining:

In response to an article which was published by today's Sunday Mirror, the club can confirm it was informed by the Home Office on Thursday 7th May that there is an issue with Sandro's UK Residency Visa.

The club are working with Sandro and the Home Office to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. While this is ongoing, the club have been advised not to select Sandro for match involvement.

The club will be making no further comment at this time.

– QPR club statement

Man City v QPR starting line-ups

Man City consider playing three strikers against QPR

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini could toy with the idea of playing three strikers as he looks for a long-term winning formula.

Three strikers against QPR? Why not? Credit: PA

Top scorer Sergio Aguero has been the lone frontman as City have found some stabilty after a rocky spell by winning their last three Barclays Premier League games.

But Pellegrini does not feel this necessarily represents the best system and would rather operate with more forwards, even though his reliance on his favoured 4-4-2 has brought mixed results - and criticism - this season.

Asked if he might have settled on the optimum system after wins over West Ham, Aston Villa and Tottenham playing 4-2-3-1, Pellegrini said:

No, I don't think so. I think that a big team must play with two strikers at least, or three, if you see Barcelona play with (Luis) Suarez, Neymar and (Lionel) Messi, and Real Madrid play with (Karim) Benzema, Cristiano (Ronaldo) and (Gareth) Bale.

– Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini

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Man City have a birthday plan for Toure

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has joked that the club must celebrate Yaya Toure's birthday properly this year.

Midfielder Toure was at the centre of a bizarre row about cake last year after his agent claimed City did not do enough to mark the Ivorian's 31st birthday.

Yaya Toure has been woeful at times this season. Credit: PA

Toure turns 32 next Wednesday and Pellegrini was asked at his latest press conference if he had found a suitable cake for the occasion.

"Are you sure it is next week?" he asked with a smile. "We will think what is the best thing for him. It is important to learn from the mistakes that you have (made) in the past!"

Man City defender Mangala ready to shine

Eliaquim Mangala believes Manchester City will soon see the best of him after what has been a "difficult" first season.

Arriving in a £32million deal from Porto, a lot was expected from the highly-rated 24-year-old central defender.

The transition has been far from seamless, though, and Mangala has endured a fair few tough moments in his first Premier League season.

Eliaquim Mangala has been awful at times this season. Credit: PA

"It was a little bit difficult for me," Mangala said, assessing the campaign. "I need to adapt to the Premier League.

"I know the Premier League better now. I think I am used to playing each kind of game and I am very confident for the other seasons and the next season now."

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