Guardiola confirms three Man City stars will miss Zagreb game

Date published: Tuesday 10th December 2019 8:02

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola revealed that David Silva, Sergio Aguero and John Stones will all miss Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Dinamo Zagreb.

City have already qualified for the last 16 as Group C winners with a game to spare following their 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk at the end of last month.

Guardiola is taking no chances on the injury front and said ahead of the match with Zagreb that the trio would miss out.

“All three are injured,” he said.

“David had a huge kick in a dangerous part of his leg and it was a risk. John is out for a week. Sergio is not ready.”

With qualification for the knockout rounds already guaranteed, Guardiola is turning his main focus back to the Premier League – for now.

“We have many injuries, we have young players here and we’re going to put the best squad for the circumstances,” the Spaniard said.

“We’re already qualified and the Premier League is more important than the Champions League now.”

But the City boss is wary of the threat posed by Dinamo. The Croatian side go into their final group game one point behind second-placed Shakhtar.

“They have fast players, they’re so, so fast,” he added.

“They did a really good competition so far, they have an incredible opportunity to go through.”

Guardiola did confirm that 19-year-old midfielder Phil Foden will start.

He said: “He’s growing from last season, some departments he can improve, with character and spirit, but he’s so young.

“He has to think a bit more, especially without the ball, but his development is perfect.

“We are more than satisfied with what he is doing with his training and when he plays.”

City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan feels his side’s dip in form is to be expected after two title-winning seasons but he is up for the challenge of making it three in a row.

“First of all I think it’s not unusual after two great seasons,” the Germany international said.

“It’s even tougher to do three in a row but it’s also the challenge of, if you want to be on top, to play the same kind of football every season.

“It’s normal to have this period but the only way out is to stick together and try to come back to what we’ve done in the past.

“Every single player has to take responsibility to reach his best level again.

“The sooner we can do that the sooner we’ll be successful again. It’s a challenge and we have to accept it.”

 

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