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Vieira accepts charge

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Patrick Vieira has been banned for three matches after kicking Stoke City's Glenn Whelan in the groin.

The two players were involved in a running battle throughout Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium and clashed as early as the fifth minute when Manchester City midfielder Vieira was fouled by Whelan and responded by lashing out angrily on the floor.

Vieira will miss Sunday's match against Liverpool, the following FA Cup tie at Stoke on the Wednesday and the League tie at Chelsea on Saturday week.

>>dailymail.co.uk

It is fair to say that Patrick Vieira's albeit fledgling City career has not gone quite according to plan to date. Far from the towering physical presence that was hoped, he has looked languid and ineffectual in his appearances so far - which of course have coincided with a frustrating run of performances.

Rightly or wrongly, Vieira has taken most of the heat for these as to accomodate his presence in the starting line-up Roberto Mancini has sacrificed some of the more attack minded elements of our game - although it should be noted we have also been shorn of both Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez.

It was always going to take Vieira time to get himself back up to match speed (in which sense the ban is particularly ill-timed) given both his lack of opportunities at Inter this season and also his time away from the Premier League but there is a general mood that his suspension will actually benefit the side rather than hurt it.

Given the games he misses - Liverpool, the FA Cup replay at Stoke and Chelsea - are precisely the type of games he was brought into be a difference maker, is telling indeed.