Manchester City’s injury problems are mounting ahead of a crucial week of big matches with the news that Ilkay Gundogan is the latest player needing treatment.
City boss Pep Guardiola hinted the Germany midfielder was nursing a problem following Saturday’s goalless draw with Southampton.
Guardiola was already without John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and Oleksandr Zinchenko against Saints.
City face a tough run of away games with Chelsea (September 25), Paris St Germain (September 28) and Liverpool (October 3) all coming within an nine-day period, but first host Wycombe in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
Guardiola insists his injury list is so bad that he has no choice but to play several of his youngsters when the club begin the defence of their trophy against the League One side.
“I don’t have another alternative,” said the Spaniard. “We are going to play a few young players. Some first-team players but some players must rest for the three games we have ahead of us.
“A few players from the academy are going to play because we have John, Ayme (Laporte), Aleks (Zinchenko), Rodri, I think Gundogan, all of them injured.
“We will see because we don’t have four or five days to prepare and to make a good selection but it is an opportunity for the academy – that’s why they are there.
“Now we are going to play the Carabao Cup. We are going to see how many people recover for the next days because we are in difficult conditions right now but we will go there and to London and Paris and Liverpool to do good games.”
News of injuries to Rodri and Zinchenko broke ahead of the Southampton game and Guardiola said he does not know how long either player will be out, but Stones and Laporte are already doubtful for the trip to Chelsea this weekend.
Guardiola also ruled out Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo, as they are the only players to have played every minute of every game so far this season.
Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Ferran Torres and Riyad Mahrez were all on the bench against Saints and could come into the team against Wycombe, but academy youngsters Luke Mbete, Joshua Wilson-Esbrand, Romeo Lavia, Cole Palmer, Liam Delap, James McAtee and Sam Edozie are also set to come into contention for starting places.
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