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Manchester City

Guardiola backs Jesus as Aguero adds to Man City injury list

6:30 AM SGT 25/11/19
Gabriel Jesus Manchester City 2019-20
The Argentina international limped out of Saturday's win over Chelsea, with his coach fearing the worst in terms of how long he will be absent

Pep Guardiola has backed Gabriel Jesus to step up for Manchester City with Sergio Aguero facing a spell on the sidelines.

Argentina international Aguero limped off late during City's 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Saturday with what looked like a groin injury.

City will assess the injury, but Guardiola admitted post-match that it "doesn't look good" .

With a hectic run of 11 games in just 37 days to come, the defending Premier League champions will be praying that Aguero's injury is not too serious.

But Guardiola says he has complete trust that Jesus and Raheem Sterling can provide the quality they need if he is ruled out for any length of time.

"Gabriel has made one of the best starts of this season," the City boss said.

"If Sergio cannot play in the next games, we will see tomorrow and I'm sorry I don't know exactly what he has, Gabriel is our option.

"Of course Sterling can play there in that position but Gabriel is going to play there, sure."

There was at least better news about Spanish midfielders Rodri and David Silva, who Guardiola said were substituted due to cramp and fatigue and should be available for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

City's season has already been severely disrupted by injuries with Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte not expected back until well into the New Year after already missing much of the campaign.

Laporte's loss has been keenly felt, particularly with City short of options after Vincent Kompany left the club in the summer.

Guardiola has used a number of combinations at centre-back but he praised the quality of Fernandinho, who has dropped into the role from his usual holding midfield role.

"He was incredible in Anfield, he was incredible [against Chelsea]. He can play there," the City boss said.

"He is so fast and our build-up is perfect. He has the quality to make the play in that position in front.

"If Rodri and Gundogan are fit, I don't think [he will go back into midfield]. I like Fernandinho in that position, with the problems that we have. I like it."

Victory over Chelsea pushed City back up to third in the Premier League and kept them nine points behind Liverpool after their late win at Crystal Palace earlier in the day.

But Guardiola said he is not worrying about the title race or having to treat every match as a must-win fixture.

"[What is] important is the effort, the commitment, the situation," he said.

"In football I know we want to win but just win once and the other is disaster? It's not, it doesn't work in that way.

"That's why I said to the players: relax, do your job and we will see in December, January, February, March what position we are in.

"If the position is far away, okay it's far away. We are going to try again next season."