Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini ruled out Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic, Sergio Aguero and Jack Rodwell from the squad to play against West Ham tomorrow.
Dedryck Boyata is suspended after being sent off at the weekend at Blackburn Rovers.
“Navas received a kick in the knee but it’s nothing important, he won’t play tomorrow as a precaution.” said the Chilean.
There was good news for City’s front line attack with Sergio Aguero and perhaps Stevan Jovetic returning to the first team squad later this month.
“Sergio will be back later in January, he’s working on strength.” said Pellegrini.
Pellegrini remained positive about the prospects of the luckless Jovetic, who has suffered from injuries and illness, restricting him to just one start for City this season.
He said: “For Stevan, it’s difficult to know when he will be back, but perhaps during January. It’s bad news for him that he can’t play – he’s a very important player.
“He had the best chance to replace Aguero when he was injured. We must try and be optimistic for the future and Stevan will get a chance to prove himself in the second half of the season.
“Micah Richards and Martin Demichelis can’t play but will be in the squad. They must train a little more.
“The other players are fit, and we will make some changes, but we will decide which team to play tomorrow.”
“We will try to win and if we can score more than one goal it will be very important for the second leg.”
Pellegrini dismissed speculation of new players coming into City during January and talk of a bid for Joleon Lescott from West Ham, who currently have an injury crisis in the centre of their defence with manager Sam Allardyce under pressure after a poor run of results.
He said: “We will only bring in a very good player who will improve the squad.
“We must try to buy an important player so it’s not our first concern and we are not in a hurry to make a decision.”
“They had a bad result on Sunday but they didn’t play their best players. It could be a different game tomorrow so it’s important for our team to play well and to win.”
Pellegrini knows full well the pressure on managers in top flight football and sympathised with the pressure on Allardyce:
He explained: “I think that this job, as a manager of any club in any part of the world, you are always under pressure.
“If the results are not what the club wants sometimes you can be more nervous than others. Sam is doing a good job at West Ham.
“With trust in the work that you do and the players that you choose to play, every situation is different.”