Roberto Mancini is facing a selection headache ahead of today’s clash with Fulham.
The Blues’ medical department resembles a casualty out-patients department at present with six first-team stars either ruled out or doubtful for the visit of the Cottagers.
Vincent Kompany is the latest addition to the walking wounded after picking up a hip injury during the 3-0 midweek victory over Aris.
With Micah Richards, Nigel de Jong, James Milner, Adam Johnson and Shay Given all ruled out of the Europa League tie last Thursday, the City boss admits he’s down to the bare bones of his squad.
“It’s important that we recover some players for today’s game,” he said. “I think it will be a difficult game because Fulham are playing so well at the moment.
“I hope that we can play like we did against them earlier in the season, but every game is different. I think Fulham are playing much better than they were, particularly with Bobby Zamora recovering. He is an important player for them.
I think that if we want to win we need to play very well, but it is important that get some of our missing players back as soon as we can
Mancini believes the fixture pile-up, a result of the Blues’ progress in two cup competitions, the price of success, but also believes it is unfair.
“I’ve never seen in my life a team playing every three days in February and March,” he said.
“I think it is a big problem, something has to change. For all teams and players it is impossible, I think they should have more respect for the players. They are not machines.
“At the moment I only have 15 fit players. Usually when I have 18 or 19, I can change six or seven players and have them fresh for the next game.
“At the moment I can only do that with three or four. After today, we play against Aston Villa on Wednesday and them we play against Wigan Athletic on Saturday and yet again I have to refresh it all.
“It makes it impossible to play at 100% because all the players are so tired.”
Fulham will give Bobby Zamora a late fitness test after the England striker went over on his ankle in training on Friday.