Football

Manchester City to rotate for League Cup tie amid fixture pile-up

Manchester City will draft in players from their youth academy for their League Cup match at home to Bournemouth on Friday morning (Singapore time), with manager Pep Guardiola saying he did not have the squad size to compete in two competitions at this stage of the season.

The delayed start to the campaign means the third round of the League Cup, in which City are holders, comes three days after their English Premier League opener, a 3-1 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday morning (Singapore time).

City will then host Leicester City in the EPL on Sunday.

"Against Bournemouth, we will play most players from the academy and try to keep energy in the EPL. With the lack of preparation and seven players out, we have to keep the players who played today as fresh as possible," Guardiola said.

"We won the League Cup three times in a row and we would like to continue, but we don't have the players, in this period, to play every three days."

City were without several key players at Wolves. Ilkay Guendogan was missing after testing positive for Covid-19, and Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Eric Garcia were out with injuries.

Despite the absentees, City opened up a 2-0 lead, thanks to a Kevin de Bruyne penalty and a Phil Foden goal. While Wolves fought back after the break, with Raul Jimenez finding the target, Gabriel Jesus added a third for City in stoppage time.

"The period that we are in and the situation that we had in these last two weeks, I expect that in some moments we suffer but, in general, we controlled the game," said Guardiola.

"Everyone was ready and did well. It was important (to start like this) but, of course, it is just one game."

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was impressed with City's win, saying their performance delivered a warning to title rivals.

"I thought City would lose tonight just for the fact it was their first game," Carragher told Sky Sports.

"Manchester United were sluggish first game, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur as well.

"But the way City came out with the energy in the first half, it was a real sort of statement... I thought City were outstanding in the first half." - REUTERS

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