Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has accused football authorities of not caring about players as his club prepare for a busy schedule without forward Gabriel Jesus.
City have eight matches between now and 31 October, including two in the Champions League with some of their players also expected to appear in international games in October.
Guardiola has raised his concerns at the tight domestic and international schedule and says he only has 13 fit senior players for Sunday’s home match with Leicester.
“Nobody cares about the players. It is about the business,” said Guardiola.
“The reality is what it is. It is not just Man City, it is all the clubs and countries. Nobody cares about the players. Everyone – the Premier League, Uefa, EFL – has defended their own business and position. The players had a two-week pre-season and now they have to play every three days for 11 months. We will not change anything saying the opposite.
“I understand it is an exceptional situation for everyone – restaurants, theatres, cinemas, museums. Everyone is struggling. We are not an exception. We have to believe in what we are doing and try and play a good game. We have three players who came back from national teams injured. We cannot control that. They let them play two games in four days without preparation. They are not machines.” He said.
Brazil international Jesus has been ruled out for at least three weeks with a muscular problem, while Sergio Aguero is expected to miss another seven weeks with a knee injury.
Bernardo Silva (muscular), Joao Cancelo (foot) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (muscular) are also out, while Aymeric Laporte and Ilkay Gundogan are yet to play for City this season after testing positive for COVID-19.
By Ofhani Munyai