Pellegrini hopeful of Silva service against Bayern
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini expects to welcome back creative stars David Silva and Sergio Aguero for the eagerly-anticipated Champions League match with Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
The duo have been ruled out of the weekend Premier League game against Aston Villa with minor injuries, although Pellegrini is relaxed about the prospect of the pair being available for the glamour tie at home to the European champions.
And, while City's new manager stopped short of declaring his squad the strongest in the Premier League, it is clear Pellegrini is content with the depth he has at his disposal as his club looks to launch a committed bid for success at home and abroad.
"We have David Silva not in the squad. We will see in the week about Bayern," Pellegrini said Friday.
"Sergio Aguero finished the derby with a small pain, nothing important, but it would be a risk for him to play three games in the same week. We will leave him for next Wednesday, he will be absolutely fit.
Silva's persistent thigh injury has kept him out of City's last four fixtures leading into Saturday's visit to Villa Park while Aguero, outstanding in Sunday's 4-1 derby demolition of Manchester United, has a far less worrying leg injury.
However, such is City's strength in depth that even the loss of two such world-renowned stars offers no major concern and, while it may appear a challenge for Pellegrini to keep all his players happy in such a large squad, the manager insists that is not the case.
"For me, that's the least problem," he said. "For me, it's a good problem for the manager because when you don't have the players to make rotation or play every week, that's not so good for me.
"All the players understand, they are mature, we need a large amount of players, I always say two in each position because we have a lot of important games to play between now and the end of the season.
"We are just starting the year, it is difficult at the moment to say who is the strongest squad," the Chilean manager added.
"We have a very good squad and we will try and win all we play and in the future we will see if it is the right squad or not."
One player who has added to Pellegrini's strength in depth is defender Micah Richards, who was impressive in his first outing of the season, the 5-0 League Cup victory over Wigan on Wednesday.
The England defender's performance even had observers discussing the possibility of Richards forcing his way back into Roy Hodgson's plans for the remainder of the World Cup campaign.
Pellegrini, meanwhile, has no doubt where Richards's future lies with the City manager insisting he will only be used as a right-back in his plans.
"I wasn't surprised by him because I knew how Micah Richards can play," he said. "I was very happy for him because he came back from a long injury and really played very, very well.
"He is an important defender, if he is fit we will have options to play him because Pablo (Zabaleta) played the last few games.
"I think he must play as right-back. At centre-back we have (Vincent) Kompany, (Matija) Nastasic, (Joleon) Lescott, who also played very well, and we have Martin Demichelis -- I know he is injured but I think those positions, we cover with other players."