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By ESPN Staff

Man City facing four games in eight days

Manchester City are facing the nightmare prospect of four games in eight days at the end of the month after being told they must play their Carling Cup second-round tie as scheduled.

Eight clubs involved in Europe are automatically given a bye into the third round of the Carling Cup.

However, as City became the ninth team to qualify after landing a UEFA Fair Play prize, they must enter at the second-round stage.

In addition, because the Blues are involved in Europe, they cannot reschedule the Carling Cup game. And to make matters even worse, they have less space in which to play the match because their preceding Premier League game, against West Ham, has been pushed back to August 24 for screening by Sky TV.

It means City will be in Carling Cup action 48 hours after that, then head to Denmark for the second leg of their UEFA Cup qualifying round duel with FC Midtjylland on August 28 before finishing their exhausting schedule 72 hours later at Sunderland.

'Ideally you would like a clear week,' Hughes told the Manchester Evening News.

'We are an English club trying to win a European trophy to show the Premier League in a good light but unfortunately we have become the victims of circumstance.

'We have been told we have to play in the second round and the dates are non-negotiable.

'The consequences of that are we will have to play four games in a week, which is a big ask for anyone.'

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