Manchester City are set to be without five first-team players for the visit of Newcastle United on Saturday (3 October) as injury problems continue to derail the Etihad Stadium outfit's brilliant start to the season. Manuel Pellegrini's team made a blistering start to the season winning their first four games, including a 3-0 win over Chelsea, but have since lost two consecutive games against West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, and will hope to get back to winning ways against the Magpies.
The Chilean manager is set to be without skipper Vincent Kompany and influential midfielder Yaya Toure among others and it will be a big test for the team, who have struggled without key players in recent weeks. But the former Real Madrid manager is confident that his team can cope without two of their most influential players in recent seasons.
Newcastle, on the other hand, are coming into the game on the back of a morale boosting 2-2 draw against the reigning Premier League champions at St James' Park. Pellegrini, however, will have the services of Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala as the duo have recovered from their respective injuries and are in the matchday squad.
"Vincent Kompany, Clichy, Delph, Nasri and Toure are injured. Mangala is on the squad list and so are Kelechi and Bony," Pellegrini said, as quoted on Manchester City's official site.
"Kompany's calf is still injured – we'll see if he's fit after the international break. It's not been a normal situation to have so many injuries – against Sunderland we had 11 injured, then it's been seven or eight. I hope after this break, most of them will be fit," the Chilean manager added.
"I never complain about the players who can't play. I don't think that one name can change the performance of this team. We also win a lot of games without Vincent. He's an important player for us of course – we hope we will play again soon of course."
The Belgian international has been injury prone in recent years. According to the Daily Mail, this is the defender's 10th calf injury in three-and-a-half seasons, and Pellegrini admits it is a concern. Despite the manager ruling out Kompany with a calf injury, the former Hamburg defender has been called up by Marc Wilmots for Belgium's Euro 2016 qualifiers against Andorra and Israel on 11th and 14th October respectively. The former Malaga manager, however, does not expect his skipper to feature in either game for his country.
"It is a problem of course that in the last years he has a lot of games that he cannot play for different muscle injuries. In the way he works I hope in the future he will have less injuries."
"I can't ask him not to travel. If the national team calls him, he must go. But he cannot play so I don't think he will play and in the same way, when you don't play for your national team, you cannot play after for your club. It must be the same in the other sense, if you cannot play for your squad you cannot play for your national squad," Pellegrini explained, as quoted by the Daily Mail.