Manchester City will appeal against Mario Balotelli’s sending off against West Brom in order for him to face Manchester United.
City manager Roberto Mancini confirmed he will be seeking to overturn referee Lee Probert’s decision to dismiss the £25million signing to clear him for Wednesday’s clash at Eastlands.
The striker was shown a straight red card when he appeared to kick Youssouf Mulumbu. But after reviewing video footage, Mancini said: ‘He got a red card for what? I want to know why he got the red card.
‘The referee must explain to me why. It was not the right decision. So we will appeal.’
The Italian will petition the Football Association on Monday morning and the matter will be heard on Tuesday. If successful, Balotelli will be made available for the potentially explosive derby.
However, the striker – who plundered his first Premier League goals for City with a first-half brace – has left Mancini with an unwanted headache.
The manager has to prove Probert made a ‘clear and obvious mistake’ in order for the appeal to succeed. If the FA believe it is a frivolous appeal, they can add an extra game to the mandatory three-match ban that accompanies dismissals for violent conduct.
Mancini’s annoyance was fuelled by the fact that he was ready to substitute Balotelli with Adam Johnson.
The Italian player’s dismissal came just minutes after he was cautioned for a foul on Marek Cech midway through the second half.
Mancini added: ‘I was angry with him because I explained at the start that he needed to pay attention to the referee. And I was trying to make the substitution before he was sent off.’
Victory eased the pressure on the former Inter Milan boss after fourth-placed City’s run of three defeats to Arsenal, Wolves and Lech Poznan.
Mancini admitted his side’s confidence had taken a knock but insisted there had been an over-reaction to the losses. He said: ‘When you’ve lost two or three the atmosphere is not good and sometimes you lose when you don’t deserve to lose.’
Mancini left £72m worth of talent on the substitutes’ bench ahead of the clash with Sir Alex Ferguson’s men. He added: ‘It was very important to win going into the derby. We are in a good position. Maybe we can get into second position after that game.’