Manuel Pellegrini has made it clear that David Silva will not feature in Manchester City’s trip to Crystal Palace due to an ankle problem, while Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta and Fabian Delph are also unavailable.
Spain international Silva has been a key figure for City so far this campaign, but Pellegrini is reluctant to take any risks ahead of next week’s UEFA Champions League opener with Juventus.
“Silva is out as I think it would be a risk for him to take another knock on his ankle. I hope he will be okay for Juventus,” Pellegrini said at a press conference on Friday.
“The injury list is Zabaleta, Clichy and Delph. Those three, and Silva had a kick on his ankle. [Bacary] Sagna is 100 per cent fit for Saturday.”
Clichy is sidelined with an ankle injury while Zabaleta has a knee problem and Delph suffered a hamstring strain while on international duty with England, and Pellegrini is unsure how serious the midfielder’s problem might be.
“As for Delph, I don’t know how long it will be, we’ll see. I think at this moment it will be a month and a half,” he added.
Pellegrini also discussed the availability of new signings Kevin De Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi and suggested the latter might have to settle for a spot on the bench again.
“Otamendi is ready to play, but he didn’t work too much with us as he was away [on international duty with Argentina]. It’s not easy for a defender to play so soon.
“For De Bruyne’s position, it’s easier. I think he can play in all three positions, on the wings or as a No 10 with no problems.”
Palace have made a fine start to the season under Alan Pardew – including beating Chelsea prior to the international break – yet Pellegrini is not surprised by their fine performances so far.
“Pardew is a manager who always has a good team with good performances – I’m not surprised. They have very good players,” he continued.