DE-FENCE! DE-FENCE! DE-FENCE! City players love that there Superbowl

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Manchester City’s players took time away from their preparations for Saturdays match with Fulham to indulge in what the Americans call ‘football.’

Ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, two members of City’s de-fence – NFL fans Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards - kitted themselves out at the club’s Carrington training ground, to show their support for the teams who will do battle this weekend in Indianapolis.

Lescott is a Patriots supporter while Richards favours the Giants, so to make sure things didn’t get too heated between the City team-mates, the ever-disciplined Nigel De Jong stepped in as referee.

England defender Lescott will be a keen viewer on Sunday night; "I got into NFL from a really young age, a good friend of mine was into it in a big way because his dad was from America and a Miami Dolphins fan."

Richards said "I got into it through a mate because I was more into basketball," before adding "It’s a lot more physical than our game and a genuine contact sport, but it looks like quite a cool sport and it’s something I can see myself really getting into in the future."

Tough-tackling midfielder De Jong is no doubt a fan of the robust nature of the game; "I’ve been into NFL for about five years now. We have mutual friends out in the States who follow the sport and I’ve been watching it on TV for a few years now and I’ve really got into it."

Lescott says he might play Gridiron in the future; "The NFL guys are very agile and quick and they put a lot of hard work into their game. I’d definitely like to give it a go when my playing career ends – whether I’m any good or not remains to be seen!"

We’re not yet sure if Lescott, Richards and De Jong will douse ‘Coach Mancini’ in Gatorade, should they win the Premier League title, though...

By Steven Toplis