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50-50: Man City vs. Man United

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Aug 8, 2014

Pellegrini has concerns over squad

Manuel Pellegrini has hit back at Arsene Wenger after the Arsenal manager suggested that Frank Lampard joining Manchester City was motivated by the UEFA financial fair play rules.

Manuel Pellegrini admits Manchester City will begin the defence of their Premier League title with a depleted team.

- 50-50 Challenge: Arsenal vs. Manchester City

The City manager will be without eight of his major players for Sunday's Community Shield against Arsenal and does not expect all of the seven who have just resumed training to be in contention to face Newcastle at St James' Park on the opening weekend.

Pellegrini is particularly concerned by striker Sergio Aguero, who has had his last two seasons interrupted by calf, hamstring and groin problems and who was never fully fit during the World Cup.

Aguero and City's other two Argentina internationals, Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta, figured in their country's World Cup final defeat to Germany while Vincent Kompany, Bacary Sagna and Fernandinho, all members of squads who reached the latter stages of the tournament in Brazil, are others who only started training again this week.

In addition, new signing Frank Lampard, whose arrival on loan from New York City was only ratified on Wednesday, is also out of the Community Shield, along with the injured Alvaro Negredo.

And Pellegrini said in a news conference: "They are not in the same moment, all of them. We will see during next week which can be ready for Newcastle but I don't think all will be ready.

"I think Sergio needs a very good preseason. That's why for him it is very important to work two or three weeks intensely and then start playing. We hope this year he will not have [injuries]."

Pellegrini, who has long said he wants two players for every position, now believes he has two first-choice goalkeepers after Willy Caballero arrived to challenge Joe Hart.

The City manager added: "He is a very good goalkeeper, I know him from Malaga. I think he is very happy here. I am sure Willy will be very important for us but I also continue thinking we have the best goalkeeper in England in Joe Hart."

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