but Man City stars are in high spirits as Nasri returns
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that star players Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero are out of the club’s forthcoming games against Chelsea and Barcelona, but will welcome back Samir Nasri to his squad.
City face Chelsea in the FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening and entertain Barcelona in a mouth-watering Champions League three days later.
Pellegrini insists the two games will not define his team’s season but admitted at his Friday press conference that he will have to face the two matches without key players.
‘At the moment it is not the plan for them to play against Barcelona,’ said the City manager.
City will also be without central defender Matija Nastasic for the two games but Pellegrini claims that his team will play better than they did in losing 1-0 at home to Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League last week.
‘We have a style of play that wont change,’ he said.
‘We know the important players Chelsea have and we will try to be less open to the counter attack this game.
‘We hope we can change this but we wont change our style.
All smiles: Samir Nasri will hope to take the game to Chelsea, who have beaten City twice this season
In line? Stevan Jovetic, Yaya Toure and Nasri were training at the Etihad on Friday
There have been some comments back and forth between Pellegrini and Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho in recent weeks as the two men have reopened a feud that started when they both worked in Spain.
Asked about this on Friday, Pellegrini said: ‘It is not for me to talk about other players or the referee. I only said one thing recently.
‘I think the most important thing is for my players to do their talking on the pitch.
‘If we don’t win on Saturday we are out of the FA Cup and if we lose on Tiesday it will be hard for us to stay in the Champions League.
Larking about: Vincent Kompany shares a joke with his team-mates during the training session
Maestro: David Silva will be glad to have Nasri back in the team to help eek out chances against Chelsea
‘All these games are very difficult. But they are not more important than the others.’
Nasri, meanwhile, has been laid up with a knee injury since being hacked down by Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa on January 12.
‘It’s important to have other players. Nasri and Garcia are both fit for this game so that’s very important for us,’ Pellegrini added.
‘(It is) impossible not to miss him but we also have other injuries before Samir, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany and we always managed to continue winning.
‘I said it was not an excuse because we had a lot of injuries, but in the last two weeks we had injuries in the same position.
No 1: Joe Hart is preparing to face Chelsea’s strike force once again at the Etihad Stadium
‘Samir Nasri is a very important player and we missed him but with the squad we have we can win without him.’
Pellegrini was also asked which Barcelona player he would take if he had the chance and, curiously, it wasn’t four-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
‘There are many great players (at Barcelona),’ Pellegrini said. ‘Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta, Cesc (Fabregas), Alexis (Sanchez). I would pick Xavi’
Drinks break! City’s stars relax during a recess in the day’s training session
Source : Daily Mail