Frank Lampard is in contention to make his debut for Manchester City this weekend according to Manuel Pellegrini, as the reigning champions face Arsenal this afternoon.
New signing Eliaquim Mangala could also make his debut for the Citizens but Stevan Jovetic and Fernando are both ruled out.
Pellegrini will hope his side can bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to Stoke before the international break and is confident Lampard can do the job.
“Frank is ready. He’s worked for about one month before he arrived so he hasn’t any problem to play,” he said.
“Mangala is working normally and he is in the squad list.
“Both of them are for me now ready.”
The City manager will be relieved that Pablo Zableta is expected to be fit for the match tomorrow despite coming off with a knock against Germany last week.
However, Pellegrini will be without both Fernando after he picked up a knock in City loss to Stoke and Jovetic after he returned home early from international duty with a hamstring problem.
“He [Fernando] has a problem and he could be out for two weeks – we will see but it is a blow,” added Pellegrini.
“Stevan won’t play against Arsenal but I am hoping he will be OK next week.”
Both sides will be looking to regain ground on current leaders Chelsea as neither team has had an ideal start to their season.
The City manager was full of praise for his counterpart Arsene Wenger and the squad he’s built up after bringing in Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck this summer.
“Sanchez is a very important player, last year it was [Mesut] Ozil, now it’s Welbeck, he always has a strong team but this season he has more players,” Pellegrini said.
At the Emirates Wenger is refusing to rule out Aaron Ramsey and is giving the Gunners’ player of the year last season the chance to see if he can be fit for tomorrow’s game.
“He will be assessed today and he has a little chance to be available for Saturday. He had an ankle sprain but it’s a minor one that’s for sure,” he told the club’s official website.
The two sides have already met this year when Arsenal claimed a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the Blues in the Community Shield at the start of the season.
Image courtesy of MCFC, via YouTube, with thanks