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Manchester City team news: Aguero and De Bruyne back in training ahead of Carabao Cup final

14:27 BST 23/04/2021
Sergio Aguero Kevin De Bruyne
The Citizens pair could be ready for the Wembley showdown but Pep Guardiola also has his focus on the Champions League semi-final against PSG

Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne have returned to training ahead of Sunday's Carabao Cup final against Tottenham, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

The City striker, who was out for much of the season after knee surgery and Covid-19, has missed the last five matches with a calf strain.

De Bruyne meanwhile twisted his ankle in last week's FA Cup defeat to Chelsea but the injury was not as bad as first feared.

What's been said

"Both Sergio and Kevin trained today," Pep Guardiola told his pre-match press conference. "Today was [Sergio's] first training session for two weeks. Tomorrow is the last training session and then we’ll decide.

"The Champions League is close and the Premier League is not over, they are more important and we have an eye on them.

"Totenham are looking at qualifying and need a title, their commitment will be tough. They have outstanding quality. Of course it’s a final and once we are there, everyone wants to win it – and we are not an exception."

The bigger picture

Guardiola must balance the demands on his squad with the huge Champions League semi-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night. He has already confirmed No 2 goalkeeper Zack Steffen will start the game ahead of Ederson.

De Bruyne could be held back for the crucial clash in France, while John Stones will also miss out on a Wembley final through suspension after being red-carded in the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

How important is the Carabao Cup?

City could equal Liverpool's record of eight League Cup triumphs and match the Reds' record of winning the trophy in four successive years, which they did between 1981 and 1984.

The final is normally played in February but was rescheduled with the possibility that fans can attend, and 8,000 spectators are set to be at Wembley.

"At the start of the season it's perfect to rotate and is over quickly, this season you play in the middle of the important part of the season," Guardiola added.

"I would say the Premier League is the first title of the season, then the Champions League to qualify is the second [objective]. The third is Europe, then FA Cup, then after Carabao. The Carabao is nice, we play to win the title, but PSG is there and we have one eye on that."

Further reading:

Gundogan: New UCL format is just the lesser of two evils!

Champions League reforms are sh*t to the power 10 too!

Romeo Lavia: Meet Man City's latest midfield wonderkid