Roberto Mancini has urged his players to hit the ground running as City resume their Barclays Premier League title chase against unbeaten Aston Villa.
The Blues' boss counted back 16 stars unscathed from international duty, then warned that the intensity will not ease in the busy month ahead.
Mancini aims to kick off a demanding week that also includes Villarreal's visit in the Champions League and the Old Trafford derby by bringing Villa's solid start to a halt.
"It is very important that we start back in the Premier League with a victory," he said.
"But it will be hard because Aston Villa are a very good team. They haven’t lost a game yet. We will need to play very well.
"This year will be like this, with so many matches. We will take it game after game. So now Aston Villa is the most important game for us. We will rest the players who are most tired.
"Alex McLeish is a good manager. He has the experience in the Premier League and a good team with good players. They have started the season very well. It will be a tough game for us.
"Fortunately we don't have anybody coming back from international duty injured, but I am sure we have four or five who are very tired. Two games in four days is hard."
David Silva sparkled for Spain, and Mancini added: "I think he is one of the best players in the world. He did very well against Scotland and scored two goals. He has improved in the last year."
Mancini insists that he feels no pressure as the season hots up with City in the glare of the spotlights.
He said: "When you manage Inter Milan for four years, you have to be strong. Coming to a new country, with different players and a different culture, every manager can improve. I am sure I have."