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Sunday 11 December 2016

Aguero blow as City face Juve

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of Manchester City's Champions League Group D opener against Juventus, manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed.

The Argentina striker suffered a knee injury in a challenge from Crystal Palace's Scott Dann in Saturday's 1-0 Premier League win at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Aguero did not train with the rest of the squad ahead of tonight's European encounter at the Etihad Stadium and Pellegrini later revealed he would not play in the match.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Pellegrini said: "Sergio is not fit for tomorrow. He has a kick in his knee. It is difficult for him."

Aguero, last season's top scorer, could return for Saturday's Premier League clash with West Ham.

Pellegrini said: "I hope so but we must wait. We will see this afternoon how long it will be."

On the positive side, David Silva and Raheem Sterling, who missed the Palace game with ankle and hamstring problems respectively, did both train and will be expected to be fit.

Samir Nasri and Fernandinho both sat out the full session because of minor knocks but Pellegrini said he hoped "both will be 100 per cent fit."

Meanwhile, captain Vincent Kompany claims City are hungry for success and determined to deliver in the Champions League.

Kompany said: "There is nobody who left the Champions League satisfied last year.

"Okay, we came against the best team in the world in Barcelona, and I guess that made it a little bit easier to understand, but that is not what we want. We don't want to go out to the strongest teams but to compete with them and at least beat them on a regular basis.

"Everything has been so bright and so good so far but, as people have been saying for the last three or four years, as long as we don't perform and show our quality in the Champions League, as we have in the Premier League, there will always be something left behind that leaves us unsatisfied.

"It is a really important game for us. We have been looking forward to the start of the competition since the disappointing game in Barcelona. It is a game everyone is going to be up for."

In mitigation, City have been drawn in tough groups in each of their past four Champions League seasons and again they face a difficult task.

"As well as Juventus, Group D also includes Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach and Europa League winners Sevilla.

The squad appears to have been reinvigorated and Kompany thinks the group could prove the best since he joined the club. He said: "Early signs would say so but experience would teach you to be careful on those kind of statements. We will see."

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