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Lampard ready for City debut, says Pellegrini

12 September 2014, 19:39

London - Frank Lampard is "ready" to play for Manchester City and the former Chelsea midfielder could make his debut against Arsenal on Saturday, manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Friday.

The 36-year-old Lampard, who is on a six-month loan from City's affiliate club New York, has been training with the Premier League champions for the last month but is yet to make his debut because of problems with his fitness.

French defender Eliaquim Mangala, who signed from Porto for 32 million pounds ($51.98 million) in August, is also in contention as City face a busy week of fixtures against Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

"Frank is ready," Pellegrini told a news conference. "He has worked for about one month and he doesn't have any problems. Mangala is working normally and is in the squad list also.

"We have to play three games in a week so we will see if they play in these games. Both of them are ready to do it but I can't say which games they will play or if they will play."

City will be without midfielder Fernando and in-form striker Stevan Jovetic, who picked up a hamstring injury while on international duty for Montenegro, for the trip to The Emirates but captain Vincent Kompany has recovered from a calf problem.

With Jovetic sidelined and striker Alvaro Negredo departing for Valencia, City's attacking options are limited but Pellegrini said letting Negredo was the right decision.

READ: Frank Lampard 'irreplaceable'?

"We had a restriction on the number of players we can use in the Champions League, we had one player more and in this case Alvaro was injured so he was not going to be on the list," the Chilean said.

"For him, it was also very important that he went back to Spain so I thought that was the best decision. But it all started with the restriction on the number of players.

"It is one striker less of course, but we have Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and other players we can use behind the strikers."

Arsenal beat City 3-0 in the Community Shield at Wembley last month and have dominated meetings between the sides but Pellegrini believes his side will be more competitive this time round after nine players returned from World Cup duty.

"Different games, different competitions, different moments," he added.

"Remember that when we played the Community Shield we had nine players out of the team because they arrived (back from the World Cup) too late to play that game."

- Reuters


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