Pep Guardiola Rules Sergio Aguero Out of Manchester Derby

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At his news conference today ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League tussle with Shakhtar Donetsk, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola provided some good news for Manchester United; and City’s other opponents in the near term.

Sensational striker Sergio Aguero, due to a thigh injury sustained in Saturday’s win over Chelsea, will be out of action for several weeks. “He will be out a few games, a few weeks,” Guardiola said of his supreme scorer, who underwent scans that confirmed the damage yesterday.

 “I don’t know exactly. The derby is in two weeks? I don’t think so [he will be fit]. Maybe we have a miracle.”

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Asked directly if Aguero will miss the derby, Guardiola responded: “Yes.”

That means the Argentine will also miss City’s road fixtures at Newcastle United at Burnley before United come to the City of Manchester Stadium. Given how Guardiola was talking, it sounds like Aguero could miss much more than that. Maybe he’ll be unavailable for the clash against Arsenal on December 15 too.

“I’m not happy because Sergio is injured,” said Aguero’s replacement, Gabriel Jesus, who has scored in tomorrow night’s reserve fixture back in September.

“I don’t like it when my friends are injured but I work hard every day. I’m ready to play and show every time that I want to improve.”

“I’m ready. When I decided to come to City, I knew it would be hard because we had Sergio. I think I have a chance to play with Pep and other top players here. I came to a top club to learn and enjoy.”

Meanwhile Guardiola has conceded the to the idea that the Premier League title won’t be the side’s number one priority this season. Nine points behind league leading Liverpool, City’s chances of retaining the title for the third straight season aren’t good.

However, Pep says his team will keep fighting and pushing the Reds to the end. He also spoke of some issues relating to the title race that transcend sport.

“I think it’s not a good message for society, for our kids, for our teenagers, showing them that just the winner is perfect,” Guardiola continued.

“We are creating a depressed people, loser people.”

“It is not. Important is the effort, the commitment, the situation. 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, we will see in December, January, February, March and we will see what position we are in.”

“If the position is far away, OK it’s far away. We are going to try again next season.”

“If we lose, we lose,” he added. “But I promise you, when I see my team don’t fight with no spirit or lack of intensity and desire, I’ll say I don’t like my team, I don’t like the way they play.

“In these three years and half, people can say we play good or bad but give up? That is not going to happen. My teams, always we try but I accept that the others can better.”

Manchester City vs Shakhtar Donetsk (UCL) FYIs

Kickoff: Nov. 26, 8pm City of Manchester Stadium

Manchester City Team News: go to this link

Manchester City Starting XI Prediction: go to this link

pep guardiola

Odds: Man City to win 2/9, Draw 6/1, Shakhtar Donetsk to win 13/1

Google result probability: 81% Manchester City win, 13% draw, 6% Shakhtar Donetsk victory

Form Guide: Man City DWWW  Shakhtar Donetsk DDWL

Prediction: Manchester City 4, Shakhtar Donetsk 0

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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