Pep Guardiola hints star striker Sergio Aguero could return from injury to play role in their Champions League run-in with Argentine working overtime to prove he can feature: ‘I think everyone will be fit for Real Madrid’
- Sergio Aguero’s been out with an injury but could return sooner than expected
- Striker is working overtime to prove he can feature in Champions League run-in
- Pep Guardiola said he should have everyone fit for Real Madrid tie in two weeks
- City will hold a 2-1 first leg advantage when Madrid arrive on August 7
Pep Guardiola has given his clearest indication yet that Sergio Aguero is winning a fitness battle ahead of Manchester City’s assault on the Champions League.
Aguero is currently working overtime to prove he can feature after suffering a knee injury during victory over Burnley last month.
A return for the last 16 second leg against Real Madrid in a fortnight has been considered a long shot, although there is hope he can play a part should City progress to the mini-tournament in Lisbon.
Sergio Aguero could return for City’s Champions League run-in after recovering from injury
The Argentine is undergoing rehabilitation on his left knee three times a day and hopeful of starting to run in the coming days.
‘I think against Madrid everyone will be fit,’ the manager said. ‘(Benjamin) Mendy is suspended but the other ones will be fit. Barring a disaster in training that hopefully won’t happen, everyone will be fit.’
Counting on Aguero from the bench would serve as a major boost to City, who head into the clash against Real with a one-goal lead from the Bernabeu in February.
City boss Pep Guardiola said he expects most of his side to be fit for Real Madrid clash
Guardiola afforded his players two days off this week before they ramp up preparation for Madrid and could see his team become only the fifth in Premier League history to score 100 goals in a season. They end the campaign against depleted, and already relegated, Norwich City, on Sunday.
City – who currently have 97 goals – have twice reached the landmark before, during a record-breaking title romp three years ago and under Manuel Pellegrini in 2014. Liverpool also hit a ton that year, while Chelsea scored 103 a decade ago.
Reaching the milestone will be scant consolation for City after surrendering their crown but could act as a send-off for David Silva, who is due to play his final league fixture.
The Argentine picked up a knee issue last month and has been undergoing rehabilitation
‘It’s nice to score goals, the way a team can show, but it’s not been enough (this year),’ Guardiola added. ‘A lot of goals but we are 18 points behind Liverpool. Every game there (has to be) a target, desire to win the game and scoring 100 goals is one of the reasons why.
‘And also to see if the players are ready. The way they play against Norwich and the way they train. I will be paying attention to how they play before Madrid. Every day will be an exam for me as whether they are ready to play this game.
‘Against Arsenal we were not ready (for Madrid). Watford was a little bit better but still we need to improve.’
City will take a 2-1 first leg lead to the Etihad when they welcome Madrid on August 7
Guardiola said every training session was ‘an exam’ to help him decide who will start the game