De Jong set for Toon test

Manchester City

Manchester City's Nigel de Jong is available after suspension for the Boxing Day showdown at Newcastle, with Mario Balotelli also fit.

De Jong looks certain to be handed a fiery reception by the Newcastle faithful as the Dutchman’s tackle resulted in a broken leg for Magpies star Hatem Ben Arfa earlier in the season, but boss Roberto Mancini insists the incident did not affect the midfield enforcer.

“It has not affected Nigel and I never thought about leaving him out,” Mancini told the Manchester Evening News.

“There are a lot of players in the world who attack the ball like Nigel. In this instance he was very unlucky.

Balotelli had to be removed from the action in City’s loss against Everton last time out with a knee complaint but the talented young Italian has managed to overcome the problem and could play some part on Boxing Day, while Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta has also shrugged off an ankle problem and could feature.