Sergio Aguero says his latest injury is “just a harmless bump on the heel”, while Kevin De Bruyne has targeted Capital One Cup glory with Manchester City.
Belgium international De Bryne, who has made a major impact at the Etihad since joining from Wolfsburg in the summer, is likely to feature in Tuesday’s quarter-final against the Tigers.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini has fond memories of the competition – it was also his first trophy in English football in 2014 – and is likely to resist the temptation to field a weakened line-up against the opponents from the Championship.
De Bruyne, the 24-year-old who was signed for £54million, said: “If we win we are already in the semi-finals – it would be nice to play in the Capital One final because if you win it’s the first trophy of the season. Obviously I think we will try everything to win this.”
Pellegrini said that he will not be making many changes from the side that beat Southampton 3-1 at the weekend. Aguero looks likely to be left out after he limped off with what looked like an ankle injury against the Saints, although Pellegrini has played down its severity saying it was merely a “kick in the heel”.
For everyone asking, I'm fine. It's just a harmless bump on the heel. Thanks, all of you, for the support!
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) November 30, 2015
David Silva could make his first start since October 3 – the Spain international came off the bench against Southampton – but keeper Joe Hart is expected to still be out injured.
Pellegrini said: “We will see, with the medical staff, the way they recover from these games. Maybe we are going to make some changes but not so many as [Pablo] Zabaleta, [Vincent] Kompany, [Eliaquim] Mangala, [Samir] Nasri are all out are out of this game.
“So, especially in defending, we cannot make so many changes. We will see in the other positions which is the best team to start.
“It is important to be focused now game by game to try to have consistency.
“Maybe for teams that are out of some competitions – the Champions League or the Capital One – it is easier to play in the Premier League. But we always want to continue in all the competitions.”
Aguero later used Twitter to confirm his injury was minor.
“For everyone asking, I’m fine. It’s just a harmless bump on the heel. Thanks, all of you, for the support!” he wrote.