Manuel Pellegrini says he wouldn't buy ticket for Chelsea-Man City in FA Cup
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says his side's FA Cup clash at Chelsea on Sunday will not be worth the cost of admission as both sides plan to use young squads.
Pellegrini's side face a long trip to face Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday, and he plans to keep his top stars fresh for the Champions League.
Chelsea have more time between games after playing at Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, but Guus Hiddink's side are dealing with a string of injuries that sees both of the first-choice centre-backs, John Terry and Kurt Zouma, out of action.
And taken together, the two weakened sides has Pellegrini doubting whether fans should pay to attend.
"I think it's not a real game, of course. I wouldn't pay for a ticket," Pellegrini said. "We told them one week ago that we are going to play with a young team. If the people want to continue going to the stadium or Chelsea fans will enjoy that game, I don't know.
"But I'm not a fan and so, with the young players we have, I must see the game."
Pellegrini said he would have no choice but to play a weak team if the FA moved his game to Sunday evening to accommodate a television broadcast, but his warning fell on deaf ears.
The Chilean insisted he still respects the FA Cup, but he had to make a tough choice with City still fighting for trophies on four fronts.
"We have had a very difficult FA Cup this season against Premier League teams, both of them away and we won both games 3-0 and 4-0. If I don't continue in the same way there's something not correct," he said.
"If I as a manager don't give any importance to the cup I have a reason. We always try to play a strong team in the cups, and it would be very nice to finish with a game at Wembley, but there are some moments when you have to prioritise because you don't receive any help and you could damage your prospects.
"You must respect every competition. The FA Cup is a very important competition and if you can't do well in it you must be disappointed, but you also have to be intelligent and make the best decision for the team."
Earlier this week, sources told ESPN FC that top clubs were working with the FA to consider abolishing weekend FA Cup games, replays and two-legged Capital One Cup semifinals.
Pellegrini laughed when asked for his opinion on potential changes.
"I have enough problems trying to manage a team not to manage the FA," he said. "But the reality is that we must make some changes.
"I repeat, put our team playing to the final of the FA Cup and arriving to the quarterfinal of the Champions League and tell me where we can play those three games? It's impossible.
"Maybe [FA Cup ties] without a replay can be one solution. All the other countries in Europe have just one cup. We have two cups and we have supported those cups."