Pep Guardiola rules out £118m Man City duo v Newcastle United despite being fit & available

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Pep Guardiola will make changes to his Manchester City starting XI for the Carabao Cup clash at Newcastle United.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he won’t “waste one percent of energy” on the third-round Carabao Cup tie with Newcastle United as he plans to rest a number of senior stars.

Guardiola has bemoaned his side’s injury list ahead of Wednesday evening’s trip to St James’ Park and even joked he’d have to come out of retirement. City are without Kevin De Bruyne, Matteo Kovacic, Bernardo Silva and John Stones, while Rodri is suspended.

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The Spaniard isn’t prepared to risk further injuries by going full-strength and hinted at to turning to players from the club’s academy. Guardiola has already said key dup Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias won’t feature on Tyneside as he prioritises the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

“We’ll see how many players we’ll have available,” Guardiola said after Saturday’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest. “It will be good for Jack [Grealish] to take minutes, and of course some players have a lot of minutes, they are not going to play against Newcastle. That’s for sure.

“Carabao Cup is perfect when you are in the beginning of the season because the games at the beginning of the season you have all the squad, deep squad, for the guys that don’t play regularly, they have to play the minutes. That’s perfect.

“But we have a lot of injuries, I’m not going to waste one percent of energy for Carabao Cup, like Kyle Walker for example, like Ruben [Dias], who have played 90 minutes for the national team, 90 minutes, because they are exhausted already. And we cannot lose it.

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“That’s why we’re going to play with the guys who need it, maybe from the Academy, maybe if my back is getting better, [I can play] maybe a few minutes. We’ll see.”

With Newcastle facing a similar schedule to Man City, head coach Eddie Howe is also expected to consider changes, though maybe not to the extent of Guardiola.

The visit of last season’s triple visit signals the start of four games in 12 days for United before the November international break.

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