Mens Team

Guardiola: We will turn to academy for Bournemouth tie

THE BOSS: Pep Guardiola gets his point across to the City players
Pep Guardiola says he is likely to select a youthful side against Bournemouth on Thursday evening.

We begin our quest for a fourth-successive Carabao Cup with a third-round tie at home to the Cherries, just three days after our Premier League opener at Wolves, which saw us deliver a fine performance to win 3-1.

With City’s preparation for the new season being truncated – and with seven first-teamers currently unavailable through illness or injury – Guardiola says he will turn to his academy players next time out in order to preserve his senior stars for Sunday's visit of Leicester. 

Asked when his squad will reach peak fitness this season, he said: “I don't know. All we want is the seven players who are out to come back.

“Against Bournemouth we will play mostly players in the academy and try to keep energy for the Premier League.

“With the lack of preparation and seven players out, we have to keep the players who played today as fresh as possible.

“We will see how the players recover. We won the Carabao Cup three times and we want to win again but we will have to see.

“It is what it is. We have to adapt. Winning away in this stadium is so difficult. That’s why it’s a good victory for us.

"We cannot pretend we can recover in three days. That’s the situation we have."

Bernardo Silva and Oleksandr Zinchenko missed the win at Wolves with muscle problems, with full-back Joao Cancelo absent due to a foot injury.

And Eric Garcia missed out having had stitches in a head wound.

Guardiola suggested Garcia could be back in the fold soon, but says the other three are likely to have to wait until after the next international break before playing any part. 

“Most of them, the Leeds game and international break, after that will be ready," he said.

"Eric Garcia had 16 stitches that’s why he can't be here.

"The rest after the international break [could return].

"This is the situation today but maybe in the next few days it will change a little bit.”

You can watch full-match replays of every City game with a CITY+ subscription. 

WATCH: Ake pleased with defensive resilience

New Club captain Fernandinho put in an outstanding display at Molineux, where his dynamism in midfield was the catalyst for many of City’s best moments.

He played alongside Rodri in front of the back four, a pairing that offered solidity against difficult opponents. 

Guardiola was impressed and believes their partnership was a big factor in us becoming the first side to win 10 opening-day Premier League fixtures in succession.

"Fernandinho cannot play every three days," he said.

"Last year he struggled a lot to be fit most of the time in the season, but he played really well with Rodri.

"It’s difficult to play against Wolves - they have pout together a great team and we suffered two defeats against them last season.

"That’s why it’s an incredible victory for us in this situation.

"There’s 111 points left to play for in the Premier League - but it’s a good start!


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