Manchester City’s injury crisis deepened following the injury to Pablo Zabaleta in midweek, however the news that he will miss just three games will be taken more as a positive, having feared a longer lay-off.

Zabaleta was taken off with his second knee injury of the season during the Citizens 5-1 Carling Cup win over Crystal Palace in midweek.

The Sky Blues feared yet another long layoff for the Argentine defender who has just recovered from a knee injury that saw him off most of the new season.


David Silva is another name that will be missing in the City XI, alongside talisman Sergio Aguero.

The Spanish playmaker has failed to recover from an ankle injury in time to face Norwich and is also a doubt for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Sevilla.

Pellegrini was quoted as saying by ESPN FC: “Pablo has the same injury in his medial ligament, but it is not so hard as the first one he has so we have now the international break.

“Probably he will be fit to return after the international break. We have now 10 days [until the international break] and 15 days more, so in 25 days, he will be ready.

“David is not in the squad list because he still feels some pain in his ankle. He is not available. We will see every day how we improves. We have three more days until Tuesday and we will decide at the end [if he can face Sevilla].”

Samir Nasri is also missing and will remain so till the next international break. However, defender Gael Clichy could be in line to make his first appearance of the season, having recovered from an ankle surgery, with Fabian Delph also returning.

Pellegrini was quoted as saying by ESPN FC: “Fabian Delph and Clichy may be fit next week. Samir Nasri, David and Kun [Aguero] and Pablo I hope will be 100 percent [after the international break].”