Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of Manchester City’s Champions League Group D opener against Juventus – but Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Fernandinho and Samir Nasri are in contention.
The Argentina striker suffered a knee injury in a challenge from Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann in Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Aguero did not train with the rest of the squad ahead of Tuesday’s European encounter at the Etihad Stadium and Pellegrini later revealed he would not play in the match.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Pellegrini said: “Sergio is not fit for tomorrow. He has a kick in his knee. It is difficult for him.”
Aguero, last season’s top scorer, could return for Saturday’s Premier League clash with West Ham.
Pellegrini said: “I hope so but we must wait. We will see this afternoon how long it will be.”
On the positive side, Silva and Sterling, who missed the Palace game with ankle and hamstring problems respectively, did both train and will be expected to be fit. Nasri and Fernandinho both sat out the full session because of minor knocks but Pellegrini said he hoped “both will be 100 per cent fit tomorrow”.
Pellegrini added: “That’s why when you have choose your squad for season it’s important to have two players for every position. We have injuries, it’s difficult with the amount of games and intensity of the Premier League not to have injuries. In this case we have a lot of problems, but I trust this squad 100 per cent.”
Pellegrini insists City are fully focused on progressing beyond the group stages this season, but knows Juventus – beaten finalists last season – will prove dangerous opponents.
He added: “We are not thinking where we are going to get to in this year’s Champions Leauge we are just thinking about tomorrow. We want to qualify to the last 16 and after that you must see the draw, the most important thing is tomorrow.
“I think we play against a very strong squad, that’s why they won the title four years in a row and made the final of the Champions League. Maybe they didn’t start that well but they continue to have very good players. If we want to win we must played very well.”