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Five Manchester City youth players who could start vs. Chelsea

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says he will play a young side in this weekend's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Chelsea on Sunday, but who will he turn to?

The Chilean was unhappy that the game was switched to Sunday for live television coverage, less than 24 hours before his squad fly to Ukraine for a Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev. And, with City competing in four competitions while they have seven players missing through injury, Pellegrini is prepared to rest some of his senior players for the game at Stamford Bridge.

Teenage striker Kelechi Iheanacho has already made a huge impression and is almost certain to start against Chelsea but who are the other youngsters mostly likely to get an opportunity alongside him?

Bersant Celina

The 19-year-old made his debut as a late substitute in the FA Cup third round victory over Norwich City in the FA Cup. And the attacking midfielder has remained around the first-team squad making two more appearances from the bench -- setting up a late consolation goal for Sergio Aguero in the 3-1 Premier League defeat to Leicester City. The Kosovo-born teenager was a key member of the City team that reached last season's FA Youth Cup final and is determined to make the most of any opportunity. "It's always hard to get in the team but if I get the chance then I am ready," he said.

Manu Garcia

The Spanish youth international has been fast-tracked to the first-team squad and made his debut as a 17-year-old in the Capital One Cup third round victory over Sunderland in September. His only other appearance came in the fourth round victory when he scored City's fifth in a 5-1 victory over Crystal Palace with a cool finish from a counter attack. A diminutive playmaker -- similar in style to City's David Silva -- Garcia celebrated his 18th birthday in January and is now back from injury.

Aleix Garcia

Another young Spaniard, the 18-year-old said he was up for the challenge of competing for a place with the best players in the world when he joined from Villarreal in the summer. The industrious midfielder breaks up the opponents' play while linking neatly with his teammates to start attacks. He has come to the fore over the past few months and has been an unused substitute in City's last two games and he sees the FA Cup has a possible opportunity to make his debut. He said earlier this month: "Here in England with two cups and so many games it is a big incentive to us because we see the manager will give opportunities to the young players. That's a great incentive for us."

Cameron Humphreys

The Manchester-born centre-back was thrust into the spotlight as a 16-year-old when he played in a preseason friendly against Real Madrid in Australia in the summer. It couldn't have been a much tougher introduction to first-team football having to play against Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema but, although City were beaten 4-1, Humphreys held his own. He has been a regular in England's youth teams and was a reported target of neighbours Manchester United. Now 17, he made his debut as late substitute in the fourth round victory at Aston Villa.


Another Spaniard impressing at the Etihad Academy, Angelino is a left-back who likes to attack as much as possible using his pace and can send over dangerous crosses. He joined sister club New York City FC on loan in July 2015, making 14 appearances and assisting four goals in the club's tough debut campaign in Major League Soccer. Another who made his debut as a substitute in the victory over Villa in the previous round, Angelino's biggest problem is that he plays in a position where Pellegrini has many options with both Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov rotated on a regular basis.

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.


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