Manchester City will draft in players from the club’s academy for Thursday’s League Cup match at home to Bournemouth with manager Pep Guardiola saying he does not have the squad size to compete in two competitions at this stage of the campaign.
The delayed start to the season means the third round of the League Cup comes three days after the cup holders’ opening 3-1 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday.
“Against Bournemouth we will play most players from the academy and try to keep energy in the Premier League. With the lack of preparation and seven players out, we have to keep the players who played today as fresh as possible,” he said.
“We won the Carabao [League] Cup three times in a row and we would like to continue but we don’t have the players, in this period, to play every three days,” said the Spaniard.
City were without several key players at Wolves with Ilkay Gündogan missing after testing positive for Covid-19 and Sergio Agüero and Aymeric Laporte ruled out with injuries.
Bernardo Silva, João Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Eric García were also sidelined after picking up injuries in training, meaning three young players were on the bench.
Despite the depleted bench, City opened up a 2-0 lead thanks to a Kevin De Bruyne penalty and a Phil Foden goal and while Wolves fought back after the break, with Raúl Jiménez finding the target. Gabriel Jesus added a third for City in stoppage time.
“The period that we are in and the situation that we had in these last two weeks, I expect that in some moments we suffer, but in general we controlled the game,” said Guardiola.
“Everyone was ready and did well. It was important [to start like this] but of course it is just one game.” – Reuters