Harry Redknapp has identified a cause of Manchester City's potential Premier League title failure this season, labelling Mario Balotelli "a problem".

36405 - Balotelli is a problem for Man City - Redknapp

City have thrown away a healthy lead atop the league table to currently trail rivals United by five points heading into the last seven games of the season. Defeat or even a draw at Arsenal on Sunday, coupled with a United win against QPR, would surely confirm unofficially the champions' successful defence of their crown.

Mancini has had his fair share of problems to deal with this season, not least with star striker Carlos Tevez going AWOL for a significant chunk of the campaign. However, Spurs boss Redknapp singles out one of City's other forwards.

In Redknapp's eyes Mancini has a disruptive influence in Balotelli, who has had endless controversies this season. His latest on-field issue led to a public row with Aleksandar Kolarov, prompting Mancini to admit he would "punch" Balotelli if he was his team-mate, and Redknapp insists City will struggle to win the title with such disharmony in the squad.

"Balotelli is not my problem, but he is a problem," the Tottenham manager said. "He doesn't seem to want to behave too well does he? It's a real problem.

"He has bags of talent but I suppose when you sign him you know what you're getting because (former Inter Milan boss) Jose Mourinho had him and he bombed him."

"If you've got one or two bad apples they can just ruin everything for you. I think that's where we were lucky again this year. We changed things around and the people I brought in made a big difference to the club.

"Scott Parker, Brad Friedel, Ryan Nelsen. They're all fantastic professionals. You aren't looking around thinking: 'Billy Big Head - what's he doing today? Where's he been? What's he up to?

"There is no one like that here. They are good lads. That's been the difference."