Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will travel with the rest of their squad for their FA Cup semi-final against Brighton and Hove Albion having nearly recovered from a hamstring injury, manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday. The Argentina international, who is the Premier League’s top scorer with 19 goals, missed City’s 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Cardiff City on Wednesday and was a doubt for Saturday’s semi-final at Wembley.
“Almost everybody is fit,” Guardiola told a news conference. “Sergio Aguero is almost fit. He is travelling.” City are challenging on all fronts this season and could potentially win three more trophies before the campaign ends, having already lifted the League Cup.
The team are top of the league going into the weekend’s games and have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League as well as the FA Cup semis and Guardiola believes they are poised to build a lasting legacy.
“We are still young in terms of a lot of titles but every season when you are able to win you become a better club, a better organisation, so that’s the target,” the Spaniard added.
“We can’t deny the last decade in terms of English titles and being there in the Champions League, qualifying always, so it’s really good. We came from nothing with that, now we have that, we’ll see how far we’re going to get.”
Stand-in left back Oleksandr Zinchenko has a hamstring injury and Guardiola is ready to draft Benjamin Mendy, who has been recovering from a knee injury, into the side for the first time Jan. 23 as a result.
“Everybody has to help us, not just Mendy,” the manager added.
Guardiola tells England’s Rose not to walk away from football
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged Tottenham Hotspur full back Danny Rose not to let racism win by following through on his plan to walk away from football when his playing career ends. England international Rose said on Thursday that he could not wait to leave football because he had had enough of the racism in the game and was frustrated by the response of the authorities to the abuse.
Rose was among several English players who were victims of offensive chanting in a Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro last month. Guardiola, whose City team play Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, said Rose should stay in football and continue to fight racism from within the game.
“The best way to fight and combat this kind of terrible situation is fighting and being there every day – and of course (Rose) is an extraordinary footballer,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. “I will tell him when I see him next Tuesday.”
The chanting in Montenegro gave fresh impetus to the debate over whether the game’s authorities are doing enough to tackle racism in soccer. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said this month that referees should stop matches when players have been subjected to racial abuse, while Rose’s England team mate Raheem Sterling called for stiffer sanctions for fans who racially abuse players.