Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits his squad is stretched to the limit after their opening win over Wolves.
City claimed an impressive 3-1 win at Molineux as Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus struck in their Premier League opener on Monday.
They remain without Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia while Ilkay Gundogan is self isolating after testing positive for coronavirus.
City start their defence of the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth on Thursday and Guardiola knows they cannot afford to lose others.
“All we want is the seven players that are out to come back,” Guardiola said.
“Now we have a competition that we cannot spend the energy that we spent today, before Leicester, so we’re going to play mostly academy players and try to keep the energy for the Premier League.
“With this lack of preparation and seven players out and not coming back soon, we have to keep the players from Monday as safe as possible.
“We will see how many are available, how they recover. We have just three days. We won the Carabao Cup three times in a row and we would like to continue but we don’t have the players in this period to play every three days.”