Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that David Silva and Vincent Kompany are both out of City’s match at Stoke on Saturday but hinted the pair could be available for selection in next weekend’s derby against Manchester United.
“We will see about Silva next week," Pellegrini told reporters gathered at City’s Carrington training complex.
"We will try for the derby—if he’s 100 per cent he can play in that game."
“Vincent Kompany is OK, but it’s too much of a risk for him to play [against Stoke]," he continued. “Two or three more days he will be 100 per cent."
It’s a huge boost for City, who had expected Kompany to be missing for longer.
The Stoke fixture is the first of seven matches in 21 days for City, and Pellegrini knows it’s a big test for his squad.
“I think it is a big test for all the big clubs who are playing the Champions League or the Europa League,” he said.
“We have seven games in 21 days before the international break in October. That is why we have the squad with 22 players because we have an important amount of games. We will try to do our best performance in each.
“I think for me and the team and the club the pressure must always be the highest pressure to have good performances in every tournament we play, Premier League, Champions League, Capital One (League Cup), for me is always the same. The pressure is positive.”
When asked about Joe Hart’s clean sheets for England, Pellegrini was positive about the form of his keeper and reiterated his belief in his ability.
“It is very important for him to have a clean sheet in the last three games he played, two in the national squad and the game here against Hull,” said Pellegrini.
“It is always important for a goalkeeper, but I never had doubts about Joe Hart.”
Many observers feel Alvaro Negredo’s impact as a substitute this season means he deserves a starting place. Negredo came off the bench to score against Cardiff and Hull in City’s last two matches, as well as scoring for Spain against Finland last week. However, Pellegrini believes all his strikers have an important role to play.
“Alvaro Negredo is always a very important option. Edin Dzeko is exactly the same. We have to play seven games in 21 days, so the most important thing is not the 11 that start, but the performance of each player in every game,” said Pellegrini.
“All the players we have, if they give a high performance, have the option to play. During the games we play we will see which the best 11 to start is. There are a lot of things, physical, technical.”
City play Stoke at the Britannia Stadium Saturday, 3 p.m. BST.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.