Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that both captain Vincent Kompany and midfielder David Silva will miss this weekend’s clash with Stoke due to injury.
Their defensive crisis has been added further with the news that left-back Gael Clichy has also been ruled out, joining Kompany, Micah Richards and Martin Demichelis on the sidelines.
Silva picked up a thigh strain while on international duty with Spain, returning to his club early to receive treatment, but he is also in danger of missing City’s Champions League opener against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday
They follow that with the Manchester derby next Sunday, meaning both Silva and Kompany face a race to be match fit for the important Premier League fixture.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to the Brittania, Pellegrini said: “We will see next week what happened with him (Silva). We hope he can be, not sure - we will try for the derby."
There was more positive news on Kompany despite him still not being fit to play, after he is nearing a return from the groin injury he picked up in the season-opening win over Newcastle.
"Kompany is okay but I think it is a big risk for him to play three matches in one week,” Pellegrini admitted.
"He needs two or three more days to be 100 per cent."
But the defensive issues were worsened with the news of Clichy’s absence, although the Chilean manager claims it is a minor knock and shouldn’t keep him out for too long.
"It is not very important, (but) he is missing this weekend,” Pellegrini confirmed.
Their start to the season has been hit by injuries, with Matija Nastasic missing their first two matches with an ankle injury that he picked up on City’s pre-season tour in Hong Kong. Pellegrini moved to bring in Demichelis as cover, only to see him ruled out for six weeks four days after he joined the club, picking up a knee ligament injury.
The news is likely to force Pellegrini into naming the same back four that featured in the win over Stoke, with Aleksandar Kolarov continuing at left-back in Clichy’s absence with the in-form Pablo Zabaleta at right-back.
Nastasic and Joleon Lescott are likely to continue in the centre, although Pellegrini could choose to moved Lescott to the left and name defensive midfielder Javi Garcia at the back, although the switch didn’t seem to work under former boss Roberto Mancini.