English Premiership

Pellegrini hits back at Jose

2014-02-07 19:33
Manuel Pellegrini (File)

Manchester City - Manchester City will be without the injured Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho for at least another two weeks meaning both players will miss City's FA Cup clash with Chelsea and the Champions League game against Barcelona.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini confirmed the South American pair's absences on Friday at his pre-match media conference before City take on Norwich City at Carrow Road in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Chilean, named Manager of the Month for January, told reporters: "Fernandinho is working with the physiotherapist but I think he will be out for at least 15 more days. It will be difficult for him to ready for Barcelona.

"Aguero is the same. He is working with the physiotherapist and has started running but will not be available for Barcelona."

Aguero injured his hamstring playing against Tottenham Hotspur on Jan. 29 while Fernandinho is nursing a thigh problem that kept him out of Monday's defeat to Chelsea.

Pellegrini is hoping Samir Nasri can return to the squad for the Chelsea FA Cup match after he returned to training following a knee injury that has sidelined him for six matches.

City, who lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea in the Premier League on Monday, face Jose Mourinho's side again in the fifth round of the FA Cup next weekend and then play Barcelona on Feb. 18 in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie.

City, who went 20 games unbeaten in all competitions before losing to Chelsea, are still in the hunt for four trophies this season and Pellegrini said they hoped to be successful in all of them.

"We are working every day. It is very easy for me to say that it is my first year in the Premier League, I am just learning about the players and we don't expect to win anything this year -- but I don't think that is the best way.

"We are working every day to do our best, and we will see what we can do in all the competitions that we are in."

City are second in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Arsenal and level on points with Chelsea.

On Monday, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho bizarrely concluded that Arsenal and City were the "big horses" in the race and Chelsea a "little horse that needed milk" before being ready to compete next year.

When asked for his view of that unique assessment of the title race, Pellegrini said: "I think Mourinho has a strong team with some great players.

"I think that he is a favourite. But he thinks this way is best because if he wins, he gets all the credit but if he loses he does not have to take any responsibility.

"I think it will be very close with Chelsea and Arsenal. Arsenal is the favourite at the moment, because they have a two point lead at the top of the table.

"The two points are an important advantage but I am sure that the three will fight to the end for the title.

"I continue to believe that Liverpool have chances, that Tottenham have chances, that Everton have chances. Football changes a lot from week to week."

City beat Norwich 7-0 at the Etihad in November but Pellegrini expects a tougher game on Saturday.

"They will want revenge for what happened here at the Etihad, they are a good team who play good football and it is important for us to react after we lost at home," he said.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  man city  |  english premiership  |  soccer
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