Sergio Agüero faces a fitness test on Wednesday before Manchester City’s game against Marseille, with Pep Guardiola hoping the striker will be involved in advance of Saturday’s derby at Manchester United.
Following knee surgery in the summer Agüero has made only four appearances this season and suffered a setback when entering as a 78th-minute replacement in City’s 1-0 win at Olympiakos two weeks ago. Guardiola is hopeful City’s record goalscorer can take some part at home to Marseille, whom his team play having won their Champions League group.
“We are going to decide tomorrow,” the manager said. “Maybe he is on the bench – we will decide. We are going to do a training session and see how his reaction is in his body, not just his knee, but what is important is the last two, three, four days he was part of the group in training and the niggles he had in the recent past disappeared.”
City will travel to United a point behind Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team and Guardiola hinted that even if Agüero is involved against Marseille the 32-year-old would be unlikely to start at Old Trafford. “He’s working incredibly hard to come back and this is the most important thing. So, of course he needs a little bit more time for the injury and for his physicality, but we are patient.”
Phil Foden is a regular in the Champions League XI but last started in the Premier League in mid-October despite being one of City’s standout performers this season.
Guardiola said: “I don’t see the Champions League as completely different to other ones [competitions]. He [Foden] gives us quality in Europe, the Premier League and the cups. He played against Real Madrid last season but not Lyon and then played this season. Every game we try to pick the best team. I’m not a guy who plays all the season with just 11 players, I don’t believe in this. I like everybody involved.”
Guardiola praised the 20-year-old’s versatility. “As a manager having someone who can play in several positions is fundamental,” he said. “At this moment I see him playing up front but I’m pretty sure when he becomes 24 or 25 he will be able to play more in defensive midfield. Now he can play both wings, behind the striker or as a striker.”