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Saturday 18 November 2017

Jesus in contention for long-awaited return

Manchester City's Fernando Gabriel Jesus
Manchester City's Fernando Gabriel Jesus

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus is back in contention for tomorrow's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal at Wembley but defender John Stones is out.

Brazil international Jesus has been sidelined since breaking a bone in his foot in February but returned to training earlier this month.

Stones has failed to recover from the muscle injury that ruled him out of last week's game at Southampton and he could also be doubtful for next Thursday's Premier League derby against Manchester United.

Jesus, 20, made a big impact after joining City from Palmeiras in January, hitting three goals in five appearances and briefly displacing top scorer Sergio Aguero from the team. He has missed the last 12 games after breaking a metatarsal in City's victory at Bournemouth on February 13.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, manager Pep Guardiola said: "He is really much better.

"Today he will make part of the training with us and he is coming back with his happiness. We are so happy he is coming back again.

"We are going to travel, all the squad to Wembley. He will be part of that. After that we will see."

Asked if he had ruled out starting with Jesus (below), Guardiola said: "No".

England centre-back Stones missed the 3-0 Premier League win at Southampton last Saturday after pulling up injured in training.

Guardiola has said the problem is not overly serious but he could miss both key games in the coming week.

The rearranged derby against United could be important in the battle for Champions League qualification.

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