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Ireland out for two weeks

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Roberto Mancini must wonder just who will be ruled out next:

Stephen Ireland is set to miss the first leg of Manchester City's Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester United after the midfielder picked up a hamstring injury in City's 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. The 23-year-old, who was substituted after 55 minutes at Molineux, was assessed this morning and will be out for the next fortnight.

He will miss the FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough on Saturday along with the club's home game with Blackburn in the league on 11 January and the fixture away to Everton the following Saturday. The club will hope to have the player back for the second leg against United at Old Trafford on 19 January.

At this rate, it is not inconceivable that United will themselves be fielding a starting eleven containing more first choice players as we will be without Toure and Adebayor through international duty, whilst Lescott, Bridge, Onouha and now Ireland are all definite absentees.

What the mounting number of injuries also does is not allow Mancini too much scope to rest certain players this weekend at Middlesbrough ahead of the semi-final.