Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed Samir Nasri is ready to return for the trip to Southampton on Sunday (1 May), although David Silva and Yaya Toure will miss the game. Silva was also ruled out for Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday night, but the Chilean boss was optimistic that the Ivorian midfielder would make the crunch tie.
The Citizens visit St Mary's Stadium sitting in third after taking 13 points from their last five games. However, they cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal with Arsenal on the same points and Manchester City four behind with a game in hand.
But Pellegrini has now revealed the club will have to face the Saints without Toure and Silva. The former had already missed the first leg against Real Madrid, suffering an injury against Stoke City. The Spaniard picked up a hamstring issue early against Los Blancos.
Pellegrini confirmed fans' worst fears by admitting Silva will be out for up to three weeks, but he was more optimistic about the Toure situation, hoping to have the former Barcelona star fit for Wednesday.
"David has a small hamstring injury so he will not be fit for this week," Pellegrini said in a press conference ahead of the trip to Southampton. "He needs two or three weeks to recover. Yaya starts working today – we'll see if he's fit on Wednesday. He has some options. All of the other players are fit."
Nasri is ready for the trip to face Ronald Koeman's side, but will be absent against Real as he is not part of the Champions League squad.
"Samir worked this week without a problem – he will be in the squad list for Sunday." Pellegrini said.
Pellegrini also expressed hope that he will have Raheem Sterling fully fit for the final weeks of the season, after the Liverpool graduate recently returned from a long-term spell on the sidelines.
"We need the whole squad to play both competitions – Raheem is just coming back from an important muscle injury which is why he's playing just some minutes. If we have the best of him for the next four or five games, we'll be happy."
Pellegrini also complained about having to play against Southampton on Sunday while Real Madrid will face Real Sociedad on Saturday, meaning that they will have one day extra to rest ahead of the semi-final. He admitted he will have to rotate his squad once again, as he did last weekend in the victory over Stoke.
"We have two different competitions – one is the Premier League where we want to be as near to the top of the table as we can and the other is to try and reach that [Champions League] final," he said. "The best way to play on Wednesday is to play well and win on Sunday.
"I said before we knew we were going to play eight games in 30 days, which is a lot for this squad, so I'm making rotations in every game we play.
"I don't understand why having so many games in this league with so much interest why we cannot play 24 hours earlier – at least the same as Real Madrid. It's not for me to say and there's a lot of things like the rights of TV, so I don't know.
"As a manager you always want to have all of the options - we're representing England and the Premier League in the Champions League – at least you don't want to give an advantage to the other team."