In Manchester, when it rains, it pours. With their rivals United suffering from an extended absentee list, it would seem Man City are having some issues of their own.
Speaking today at his pre-Chelsea press conference, Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed the extent of the problem which has struck just before his side play three vital matches in three different competitions over the next nine days or so, as they look to pick themselves up from an indifferent period in the league.
Eliaquim Mangala, Kevin De Bruyne, Wilfried Bony, Samir Nasri and Bacary Sagna join Jesús Navas and Fabian Delph on the list of players who will be sidelined at the weekend, with several more almost certain to be rested.
As such, Pellegrini plans to use to opportunity on Sunday to play some of the youngsters against Chelsea:
“We have 13 players available to play and have to play in the Champions League on Wednesday,
“We’ll see the best team we can play on Sunday,
“Sagna worked today after ten days out, Mangala is injured – Nasri, De Bruyne and Bony are also out.
“Bony has started working on the pitch these last two days. He needs at least one week more.
“I always try to play with a strong team in every competition. They are all important but we must prioritise the Champions League.
“For me always the priority is the next game but we must make an exception now because of so many injuries. After that, we have to play a really important 180 minutes (over two legs) against Dynamo Kiev.”
In the absence of so many first teamers and with a vital Champions League tie in midweek, as well as the Capital One Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley the following Sunday, Pellegerini had always insisted that he was likely make less of a priority of the FA Cup if need be – and it seems he is prepared to make good on that promise.
The absence of much of the first team means that regular cup goalkeeper Willy Caballero is almost certain to start in place of Joe Hart while Kelechi Iheanacho, who scored from the bench in the recent 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham, is likely to start in place of Sergio Agüero.
Also likely to play are Aleix García, Manu García and Bersant Celina, all of whom were unused substitutes at the Etihad last Sunday.
Read More About: aleix garcia, bacary sagna, bersant celina, Chelsea, eliaquim mangala, FA Cup, joe hart, kelechi iheanacho, kevin de bruyne, Man City, man city news, manu garcia, manuel pellegrini, samir nasri, wilfried bony