Manchester City will be without Sergio Aguero for their Premier League trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday as they try to get back on track after three consecutive defeats.
City missed the chance of sealing the league title when they lost to Manchester United 3-2 at home last week, either side of defeats by Liverpool in the Champions League.
Victory over in-form Tottenham at Wembley and a United loss to bottom club West Bromwich Albion on Sunday would allow Pep Guardiola’s side to start celebrating.
But City have injury problems, not least with leading scorer Aguero out, according to Guardiola.
“After Tuesday’s game he said he couldn’t run. Hopefully he will be ready for last games and World Cup,” Guardiola said of the Argentine, who was injured in a tackle by United’s Ashley Young that could have resulted in a penalty.
“Fernandinho is suspended, John Stones is not ready, (Benjamin) Mendy is out. We have 13 or 14 players for the next game plus the kids.”
The Spaniard added that a trip to play fourth-placed Tottenham, who are unbeaten in the league since losing at City in mid-December, will be a stern test for his side.
“The league is played over a lot of games and we need five points from six games,” he said.
“The first option to take points is tomorrow, one of the toughest games we have. Tottenham is a fantastic team, they have great pressure. They have been playing great with a lot of success in the last two, three seasons and are in the semi-final of the FA Cup. It is going to be a difficult game for us.”