Lisbon: Manchester City’s record scorer Sergio Aguero will not feature in the Champions League quarterfinal against Olympique Lyonnais having failed to fully recover from his knee surgery, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.
Aguero is still in Barcelona undergoing recuperation from June’s operation and although he has been named in the squad for the tournament, he is not yet ready even to take a place on the bench. “He is still in Barcelona. I think he should (have to) come here and do a test. He is still in Barcelona making a recovery,” said the City manager.
Should City win Saturday’s encounter with the French side they will face either Bayern Munich or Barcelona on Wednesday, leaving limited time for Aguero to get in match-form. In the absence of the Argentine, Gabriel Jesus, the Brazilian forward, is likely to lead the line.
Guardiola also finds himself in the unusual situation of having David Silva with his squad, despite the player having said his farewells to the club’s supporters after playing his final match. Silva announced at the start of this season that this would be his last campaign with City and the 34-year-old said that he wanted to end his career with one last adventure.
There has inevitably been speculation over Silva’s destination in recent days but Guardiola said there is no question of the Spaniard not being focused on the Champions League task. “He’s absolutely prepared. The way he trains, his personality… It’s a shame that his last Etihad game was without people, but he will come back (for a farewell) when people can be there, he will get what he deserves,” he said.
The former Barcelona coach acknowledged that expectations were high for his team, who are rated by some bookmakers as favourites for the title. “The pressure is always there, we try to do our best like the other teams. We saw how tight it was in the first two quarter-finals, tomorrow (Saturday) will not be an exception,” he said.
“We saw Lyon’s last games against PSG and Juventus. We know them quite well. They are incredibly organised and so aggressive. They are so fast up front, with quality in the wing-backs. They are a top team. It’s the quarterfinals – we cannot expect anything else. It is not going to be easy.”