Eliaqium Mangala set to miss Tottenham game for Manchester City, but Yaya Toure could return following international break.
Eliaquim Mangala has been ruled out of Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Tottenham through injury – but Yaya Toure is in contention to play at the Etihad.
The Manager however is hopefull that Mangala will be available for tuesday nights Champions League away clash with CSKA Moscow.
He said: ‘There is just a small problem with Mangala. He has a muscle injury, but I think he will be fit without any problems for Tuesday.’
‘All the other players are okay,’ added Pellegrini. ‘Of course it’s not easy to see what is the best starting XI for Saturday when you have so many players arriving on different days of the week. Tomorrow we will decide.
‘Yaya arrived yesterday with Aleksandar Kolarov and Matija Nastasic, other players arrived on Wednesday and some more on Tuesday, so we’re trying to see which is the best team for tomorrow – but all of them are on the squad list.’
The issue of Premier League’s African players returning from West Africa has raised concerns over the Ebola outbreak, and even put the January’s African Cup of Nations in jeopardy.
Pellegrini said: ‘I suppose that the people who have to decide about that have enough experience to know if they can play or not play. For me it is very difficult to give my opinion but I trust in the persons who have to decide if they can do it or not.’
Pellegrini added that the Premier League champions are entering a crucial phase of their season.They must get maximum points from CSKA Moscow home and away to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stage, and defend the Capital One Cup against Newcastle, but Pellegrini is trying to focus on the game against Spurs as he looks to keep pace with leaders Chelsea.
‘We are just thinking about the next game which is Tottenham,’ he said. ‘We know that from now until the next international break we have to play seven games in three different competitions.
‘We have four games in the Premier League. It is very important for us to try not to drop points and to try and recover points from Chelsea.We also have one game against Newcastle which is final because if we don’t win we go out of the Capital One Cup. We have two games against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League that we need win to win both of them.
‘The best way to think is that the next game is a final, which is Tottenham, we will try to win it and after we will see which is the best team to try and win the next final.’
City triumped 11-1 on aggregate over Spurs in the League last season , but Pellegrini is expecting a sterner test this time round.
‘I am sure it is a different Tottenham,’ he said. ‘Last year one of the best games that we played was against Tottenham away. Here also we played very well but we are not expecting that we can score six or five goals every time we play Tottenham.
‘They are a very strong team. Mauricio Pochettino is a very good manager. Really we play in our best moment last season. We hope tomorrow we can do a very good game also.’