Pep Guardiola will not have the services of five of his first-team players in Marseille, with another two just returning from injury.
The Manchester City boss fears this season could come down to the survival of the fittest after Sergio Aguero dealt Manchester City a fresh injury blow.
Aguero, City’s record goalscorer, could be out for another month after suffering a muscular injury in Saturday’s game at West Ham.
City had been trying to ease the Argentinian back into action but he encountered a problem in the first half of the 1-1 draw at the London Stadium and was withdrawn at the interval.
With Gabriel Jesus also sidelined, the 32-year-old’s latest setback leaves City without a frontline striker for Tuesday’s Champions League Group C clash at Marseille.
To compound matters, Fernandinho, Benjamin Mendy and Nathan Ake also miss out at the Stade Velodrome while Aymeric Laporte and Kevin De Bruyne have only just returned to fitness in a difficult start to the season.
With hindsight, Guardiola admits it may have been wise to bring in another striker over the summer but the club spent the bulk of their transfer budget on defensive pair Ruben Dias and Ake.
City began the Champions League with a 3-1 win over Porto.
Victory over a Marseille side could see them establish an early position of strength in the group.