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Jan 7, 2014

Jesus Navas to miss cup semifinal

Jesus Navas has been ruled out of Manchester City’s Capital One Cup semifinal first leg against West Ham.

• Mooney: City strength reliant on key players

But manager Manuel Pellegrini will welcome back central defender Martin Demichelis, who has missed the last four matches.

City will be without six players, with Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Jack Rodwell injured, Micah Richards back in training but not yet ready to play and Dedryck Boyata suspended.

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Pellegrini said: “Jesus Navas has a little problem, a kick behind his knee, but nothing important. It is just a precaution.

“Jovetic, Aguero and Rodwell are injured -- all three cannot play tomorrow. Richards can’t play, he is not injured, he must work a little more but he is not injured, and Demichelis is in the squad list.”

Pellegrini is set to rotate his squad and bring back some of his premier players after a weakened side drew 1-1 at Blackburn in the FA Cup on Saturday.

He added: “I don’t know exactly how many changes, but we will make some.”

West Ham were beaten 5-0 by Championship club Nottingham Forest on Sunday but Pellegrini is expecting a much tougher match at the Etihad Stadium.

He said: “They had an awful result but I don’t think they played with their best 11. They played with young players. I am absolutely sure tomorrow will be a very different game.”

West Ham are in the relegation zone, putting manager Sam Allardyce under pressure, but Pellegrini believes he is the right man to lead the London club.

He added: “I think he is doing very good work at West Ham, so I don’t think he will have any problems.”

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