Manchester City stars Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure are set to miss the Premier League trip to Stoke City on Saturday, manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed.
The striker and midfielder join Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala, Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta on the sidelines, although Joe Hart, Fernando and Jesus Navas are in the squad.
Aguero is struggling with a heel problem, while Toure has a muscular issue as Hart makes his return from a hamstring injury after missing the Premier League leaders’ last two matches.
“Joe worked on Thursday and Friday without any problems so he is in the squad list – we will see on Saturday if he can play,” said Pellegrini.
“I don’t think Kun will be fit, we will see. He is recovering from his heel and he is in pain so it is not easy for him to work. Maybe he will be back for Tuesday [against Borussia Monchengladbach].
“We do not depend on one or two players. We have an average of six players injured every game but even so we are through to the last 16 of the Champions League and into the semi-final of the Capital One Cup.
“I don’t think anyone can doubt how strong our squad is. The important thing is to try and play in the same way and that is what we are doing. I am very pleased with how things are going.”
Pellegrini stressed it is crucial for his side to make a fast start against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.
“We just watched the game from last season [a 4-1 win] and we played very well,” he said.
“It is important to be aggressive from the start against Stoke from the first minute. Especially in the first 15 to 20 minutes, they want to make the difference so it is important to be good from the start.
“It will be a tough against an important team.”