Pellegrini Won’t Rule Out Iheanacho As Nigerian Eyes Cup Start

Pellegrini Won’t Rule Out Iheanacho As Nigerian Eyes Cup Start

By Johnny Edward:

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has indicated that teenage star Kelechi Iheanacho could start Wednesday's Capital One Cup clash against Crystal Palace at the Ethiad stadium.


City needed a last-gasp goal from Ihenancho to snatch a winner at Selhurt Park when both teams met in August but Pellegrini was non-commital when asked if the Nigerian will be given another chance to against the Palace in front of his home fans.

In his pre-match conference, the Chilean said: "We'll see tomorrow if @67Kelechi will start. It's important to bring young players from the Academy to the first-team.

"The Capital One Cup is an important competition for the club. It's a chance to play a final at Wembley in front of 90,000.

"We will play the starting XI we can. It’s not easy, we have a lot of injuries and a lot of players are playing a lot of games.

“The injury list is exactly the same as the last game. Clichy, Delph, Nasri, Aguero and Silva are out."

Meanwhile, the highly-rated Nigerian youth international is hoping to make his first start after featuring as a late substitute in his six appearances this term.

“Crystal Palace will always be a special game for me because I scored my first goal against them,” Iheanacho told Manchester City website.

“It won’t be easy because they are a quality side. They are very strong and have very good wingers so they will believe they can come here and win.

“A few teams have beaten us at home this season and they will fancy their chances so we have to be careful, respect them and expect this to be a very difficult match.”

The winners of Wednesday evening’s tie will progress into the quarter-finals of the competition and within touching distance of the final – and a place at Wembley – a venue Iheanacho is yet to experience in any form.

“We know that if we win, we’re only three games away from a final at Wembley, a place I’ve always wanted to play at so we’ll be going all out to beat them,” he said.

“As I said, it won’t be easy but we are at home and have been playing well lately.”

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