Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he has no choice but to play some of his academy players against Wycombe Wanderers (Match betting – City 1/25, draw after 90 minutes 12/1, Wycombe 40/1) on Tuesday, owing to a mounting injury list.
The defending champions have already been disrupted this season by injuries and only had 15 senior players available for their goalless draw against Southampton on Saturday.
The likes of John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, and Oleksandr Zinchenko all sat out the weekend contest, while Ilkay Gundogan has also picked up a knock since, reducing City’s pool of players further.
To make up a bench, Guardiola called upon youngsters Cole Palmer, Luke Mbete, Romeo Lavia, and James Wilson-Esbrand and they all might appear against the League One side on Tuesday (Anytime goalscorer – Palmer 11/10, Lavia 10/3).
Samuel Edozie, who played in the Community Shield defeat to Leicester, and James McAtee, who has impressed with the Under-23 squad, have also been touted as potential starters against Wycombe.
“I don’t have any alternative (but to play youngsters). We are going to play a few young players,” Guardiola admitted.
“Some players might rest for the games we have coming up ahead of us and yeah a few players from the Academy are going to play,” he said.
Guardiola also said he would rest defenders Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo with the duo having played every minute so far this season.
“Ruben played all of the minutes so far and Joao played all of the minutes, too, so I don’t think they will be able to play in this game,” the former Barcelona manager added.
City are seeking to win their seventh EFL Cup (5/2 – Outright) in nine years this season, with Guardiola looking to make it number five since taking over as manager in 2016
Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe provide their first examination – the Chairboys sit fifth in League One after a 2-1 win against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.