Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed he hopes David Silva will be fit to return to action following the international break. Silva suffered an ankle injury during Spain's 4-0 victory over Luxembourg in October, joining a Manchester City injury list that includes Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta. Pellegrini told reporters that despite showing some progress Silva would not be fit enough to feature in his side's match at Aston Villa this weekend.
"Well he's working, his ankle is not 100% fit. He tried last week to play in a small-side game and he couldn't, so I hope that in 15 days he will be OK," said Pellegrini.
"We hope that we can recover after this international break, we hope also that nobody has a new injury, because we have to play so many games after the international break, it's very important to have the whole squad."
It will be a case of top versus bottom in the Premier League when City travel to Villa Park. The hosts sit bottom of the league with four points, having lost nine of their last 10 league games, a run that resulted in the club parting company with manager Tim Sherwood, replacing him with Remi Garde. But Pellegrini is not taking a positive result for granted and believes Villa will pose a greater threat, with players eager to impress their new gaffer.
"Well, I don't know who said it was going to be easy. For me, the way I think, there's no easy games in the Premier League, especially in this case against Aston Villa. They are at the bottom of the table, they are with a new manager, so the motivation to try not to be relegated will be high," he said.
"It's very important, and I talked with the players, to repeat maybe what we did against Sevilla in the Champions League and not to think that because we played well in the last game we are going to play exactly in the same way. We can do it if we concentrate, if we play with intensity and especially if we understand that it will be a tough game."
Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph is keen to face his former side, according to Pellegrini. "Fabian played all his career in Aston Villa but now he's a professional player here with us. I know that he wants to play also because he was out for a long time injured, he wants to play," said Pellegrini.
When asked whether Delph would receive a hostile reception from his former supporters, Pellegrini hoped the Villa fans would remember his years of service. "I hope that he will not because he played a lot of years for Aston Villa, Aston Villa wanted to sell him also, he continued being a player that gives a lot of his career for Aston Villa. I don't think that the fans will forget all of those things," he said.