Injury crisis will force me to use academy players, says Guardiola
Pep Guardiola will play academy players in this week’s Carabao Cup tie against Bournemouth after Manchester City won their opening Premier League game of the season despite an injury crisis.
City had Bernardo Silva, Joao
Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko return injured from pre-season internationals, joining Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia in the treatment room.
It was also revealed ahead of the game that City’s Germany international Ilkay Gundogan had tested positive for coronavirus.
They won at Wolves through Kevin De Bruyne’s penalty, Phil Foden scoring in his first game since being sent home from England duty and a late strike from Gabriel Jesus, but Guardiola is struggling for numbers for their game on Thursday,
“We are going to play mostly players in the academy and try to keep the energy for the Premier League because with the lack of preparation and seven players out and not coming back soon, we have to keep the players in this match as safe as possible,” said Guardiola. “The only thing we want is the seven players out to be back. The problem now is that we are in a competition where we cannot spend the energy we spent in this game ahead of playing against Leicester in the next match.
“We will see how many players are available and our recovery. We won the competition three times in a row and would like to continue but we don’t have players to continue in this period to play every three or four days. It is what it is.
“This was a good victory for us but we cannot pretend we can recover in three days with the position we are in now.”
Adrian Bernabe, Liam Delap and Tommy Doyle from City’s academy were named on the bench against Wolves and are set to play in the cup. Guardiola expects Laporte back soon but the bulk of his injured players will not return until midOctober. “Most of them after the Leeds game and the international break,” Guardiola said.
“Laporte isn’t injured but has only had one training session in two months. Eric Garcia had 16 stitches but maybe will be fit for the next