Bernardo Silva will not be fit to face Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
City were not at their best against Red Star Belgrade during the week and will probably take that out on Forest, who come to the Etihad on Saturday afternoon.
Guardiola is boosted by the return of Jack Grealish, who has been training and could “play some minutes” this weekend.
“I said many times when young players in the squad is because we trust them, we rely on them,” the Spanish manager told reports on Friday.
“We need the injured players back cause we can’t play everyone in every game.
“Jack is coming back, he has trained and maybe he can play some minutes. Kova (Mateo Kovacic) is nearly back. But now we’ve lost Bernardo (Silva) for a few days and John (Stones) and Kevin (De Bruyne) are still out.
“We play a lot of games. Less games, less injuries. A lot of games in a row over the years with no rest… We can not sustain it.
“Jack got a knock on his knee in Sheffield that’s football it can happen. But muscular injuries mean you miss a lot of games.”
Indeed, Silva is out with a minor injury. Guardiola revealed: “It’s a little injury, a week/ten days he will be out.”
The Cityzens are heavily fancied to comfortably beat Forest, but Guardiola is refusing to underestimate Steve Cooper’s side, who recently beat Chelsea away from home.
Asked if going to the Etihad is the toughest fixture in football, the City boss said: “We will see tomorrow. It’s a compliment thank you to Steve but they were able to do an incredible game at Stamford Bridge.
“They fought to the end at Arsenal away, (Manchester) United they went ahead.
“When we went there last season we could not win. The last year and half we feel good at home but tomorrow we will have to prove again.”
City have started the new season very strongly, winning all five of their Premier League fixtures so far, which is a better start than they had last term.
“When we arrive seven years ago we make the points but we finish third, it’s just the beginning,” Guardiola noted. “It’s important to get points but it’s just the beginning.
“All the squads were so easy to handle, all of them. The success belongs to the players of the past because we learn off them, we build off them. I’m not going to say this team is better, every team, the club, players, staff, everyone has been really good.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola singled out the form of Argentine forward Julian Alvarez, who has stepped up in the absence of De Bruyne.
“Always have good behaviour, playing not playing, being a world champion or not,” Pep said.
“Always the same. The perfect dose of disappointment when he doesn’t play but always ready for the opportunity.
“Right now with the injuries he’s had minutes and he gives us a lot of good things. That’s why he’s playing but he has to continue. Many games, some games he won’t play, hopefully players come back and fight for positions.”