Mystic Mancini dusts his magic 8 ball off for the Euro 2012 semis

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Man City boss has joyous news for the people of Italy and Portugal


Roberto Mancini was easily the most entertaining man in the Premier League over the final two months of the season (yes, even flying clear of Mario Balotelli) as he brought out a box of mind games that this country had never seen before.

Little did we ignorant Brits know that in addition to the tried-and-tested methods of suggesting that another team might brick it under the pressure and manipulating refs, it was possible to pretend that your club are rubbish and that your rivals are the second coming of Gretna circa 2004/05.

One of his less successful early psychological ploys was to predict that stuff that he really wanted to happen would pass. “I think on Monday, United will probably do a draw,” he mused before their trip to Blackburn, only for Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young to cruelly disprove him in the final ten minutes.

He then altered tactics and starting prophesising things that he didn’t want to occur, with far more satisfying results. He appears to have forgotten that strategy since breaking up for summer though, because he has unwisely envisaged further celebrations for Italy.

Mancio look-into-my-eyes-ed: “The final will be between Italy and Portugal. It’ll be like what happened in this season’s Champions League where favorites Barcelona and Real Madrid lost out in the semi-finals.”

Think Mancini is due a winning call? Odds of 15/2 are available on Italy and Portugal – to use the Man City manager’s parlance – “doing a final” in Kiev on Sunday with Bet365.

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