MANCHESTER -- Manuel Pellegrini says he will prioritise the Champions League over the FA Cup with Manchester City facing two difficult away trips in four days.
The City boss has suggested he will play a young team for Sunday's game with Chelsea with the club flying to Ukraine for their Champions League last-16 tie with Dynamo Kiev 24 hours later.
City, who beat Premier League rivals Norwich City and Aston Villa in the previous two rounds, had wanted the fifth-round tie against Chelsea played on a Saturday. But it was switched to 24 hours later to be broadcast on TV.
And with six players missing through injury and City still in four competitions, Pellegrini says the Champions League must take precedence.
The Chilean told a news conference: "We always try to play with a strong team in every competition. Every competition is important, especially the FA Cup.
"We have two difficult draws against Premier League teams in the two rounds before, but we won 4-0 and 3-0, so we are very interested in continuing in this competition. If we don't have any important reason, we must prioritise the Champions League."
City's squad is stretched with injuries to Fabian Delph, Kevin de Bruyne, Eliaquim Mangala, Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri. Defender Bacary Sagna has returned to first-team training and could be available for the game at Stamford Bridge while striker Wilfried Bony has also returned to training but won't be fit for City's next two games.
Pellegrini said: "Sagna worked today -- he's just starting after he had to stop for 10 days because of his knee. Mangala is injured, as are Nasri, Navas, De Bruyne and Bony.
"I think unfortunately at this moment we have just 13 players available to play. We have to play Champions League on Wednesday, so we'll see what will be the best team we can put on the pitch for the FA Cup."
However, the City boss insisted it was a good opportunity for some of his younger players to impress. Attacking midfielders Bersant Celina, Manu Garcia and Aleix Garcia are likely to be in the squad along with defenders Cameron Humphreys and Angelino.
Pellegrini added: "When young players have the opportunity, they must take their chance. The team we are going to play against Chelsea will give young players a chance."