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Gianfranco Zola backs Mario Balotelli to shine

Gianfranco Zola reveals that he has a great affection for countryman Mario Balotelli and still believes that the striker has the talent to shine for Manchester City.

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola has insisted that Mario Balotelli has the talent to shine in the Premier League after coming up against his countryman in the FA Cup this afternoon.

Balotelli came off the bench in the second half as City proved too strong for the Hornets, running out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Marcos Lopez.

Zola has revealed that Balotelli is a player that he cares about and believes that he still has the potential to turn things round at City despite his topsy-turvy time in Manchester to date.

He told The Independent: "I have a real affection for Mario. I do care about him and when he came on he caused us so many problems. You have to understand his potential and you have to master it.

"It is not down to me to say whether he should stay at Manchester City or go. I am only concerned that a young man with a lot of potential should be allowed to shine."

The 22-year-old has scored just once in the Premier League for City so far this season.

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City's Gareth Barry is congratulated by David Silva after scoring the second against Watford on January 5, 2013
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United StatesUnited States95822
ChinaChina95721
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Great BritainGreat Britain45110
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

TAEKWONDO
· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
· Mahama Cho is another medal contender for Team GB in the men's +80kg class (2am-2.30pm)

SWIMMING
· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

DIVING
· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin is part of a Team GB team going for gold in the dressage team Grand Prix final (9.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Superstar Simone Biles leads the United States side in the women's team final (11.45am-2.10pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women's team play their final group game, taking on Canada with qualification for the knockout rounds already secured (12pm)

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