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Saturday 16 December 2017

Walker so happy Aguero is friend and not a foe

Champions League Group F, Man City v S Donetsk, Live BT Sport 1/Eir Sport 1 (7.45)

Kyle Walker answers media questions
Kyle Walker answers media questions

Kyle Walker is relieved he no longer has to deal with the "nightmare" threat of Sergio Aguero in games.

Right-back Walker now has the task of creating goals for the prolific Argentinian having left Tottenham for Manchester City over the summer.

Aguero, who is just one short of equalling City's all-time goalscoring record of 177, has tormented Spurs since arriving in England in 2011, netting nine times against the Londoners.

Walker said: "To play against he is a nightmare. Facing him numerous seasons, he always seemed to score against us. It was frustrating.

"Having him on the same team now is a big bonus, he is a quality player. You see what he has done in the Premier League.

"You know if things aren't going well he is the kind of player who can produce that bit of magic for us, put us that goal up or pull us back into the game."

Aguero has scored six times in six appearances this season, including a hat-trick in a 6-0 win at Watford. He will get a chance to pull level with the club record mark of Eric Brook, which has stood since 1939, in tonight's Champions League Group F clash against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium.

Possible

Manager Pep Guardiola said: "I hope as soon as possible he can make that record as it means we don't talk about that. I'm pretty sure that in the next games it's going to happen."

Guardiola, who was speaking at his pre-match press conference, went on to praise Aguero for improving his all-round game. Last season there was speculation Aguero could leave City because, for all his virtues, he did not offer enough in terms of build-up play for Guardiola's liking.

Guardiola said: "When we play we are not just looking in the finishing part, scoring a goal. Before last season with me Sergio was judged on scoring a goal.

"But now, in the process, always we know he is there. That helps him to be more involved. It is difficult to say, 'Come on Sergio try to be more involved in the game'. Everyone knows he is there."

Kevin De Bruyne is another player who has been in fine form this season. The Belgian has four years remaining on his contract but the club are keen to sign him to improved terms.

"We are still working on it," said Guardiola. "As a club we want Kevin and the others to stay for as long as possible."

Maintain

City have been in fine form in recent weeks, scoring 22 goals in their last five outings in all competitions. They will hope to maintain the momentum against the Shakhtar but Guardiola expects a tough test from the Ukrainian champions.

Guardiola said: "They beat one of the best teams in Napoli. Napoli are one of the three or four or five best teams, playing football, in the world.

"People say, 'Napoli, it's not Milan or Juventus' and, 'Shakhtar, it's Ukraine', but this group is tricky."

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