Man City missing eight for Arsenal tie
MANCHESTER -- Manchester City will be without eight players against Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday as Manuel Pellegrini plans to field a severely weakened team.
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The Premier League champions will take on the FA Cup winners without six players who featured in the latter stages of the World Cup, while new signing Frank Lampard and injured striker Alvaro Negredo will also be absent.
Pellegrini gave Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis an extended break after they helped Argentina reach the World Cup final.
Along with Fernandinho, who was part of the Brazil side that finished fourth, and Belgium captain Vincent Kompany, whose country were knocked out in the last eight, they were given time off and only resumed training on Monday.
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In addition, new recruit Bacary Sagna was in the France squad that reached the quarterfinals in Brazil, and so will not make his debut against his former club.
Pellegrini told his prematch news conference: "All the players that arrive this Monday -- Demichelis, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Sagna, Fernandinho, Lampard and Aguero [will not play]. They have a special preseason this week and next week."
If City win the Community Shield, Pellegrini will have secured three trophies in six months.
The Chilean was set the aim of winning five in five years by chief executive Ferran Soriano in 2013, but he said: "I don't have a target to win five titles."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has questioned the legitimacy of City's signing of Lampard, who has been loaned from New York City, especially after they failed UEFA's financial fair play test in May.
However, Pellegrini, who prefers not to comment about other clubs, is disappointed his Arsenal counterpart has devoted so much time to discussing City.
"I am surprised," he said. "I think that as a manager we have enough problems with our teams without talking about other teams."
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Yaya Toure, meanwhile, finally committed his future to City last month, ending a summer of speculation which began when his agent criticised the club for not celebrating his birthday in appropriate fashion.
"There were a lot of reports about a lot of things but Yaya doesn't have any problems," Pellegrini said. "He works normally here; he wants to stay here; he is very happy here.
"The things that everyone talked about during the summer, I never heard Yaya talking about them -- other persons yes, but not Yaya."