Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says defender Gael Clichy and midfielder Fabian Delph will be on the bench for Sunday's game away at Aston Villa.
Attacking midfielder David Silva is however ruled out but is expected to be back after the international break.
"Maybe Clichy and Delph are not ready to start but they are to be on the bench and that's important," Pellegrini said.
"Clichy can play on both sides which is important as Zabaleta is injured. Silva is working – his ankle is not 100% fit. He tried last week to play a small-sided game but he couldn't. I hope after these 15 days he will be OK.
"The Spanish national team know David cannot play and so there is no problem.
"We hope that all of the players will have recovered after the break and that there will be no injuries. It's very important to have the whole squad.
"I hope that after the break we can rotate as we have to play a lot of games - you cannot win trophies with just 11 players."