Manchester City v West Ham: Jesus Navas to miss first leg of Capital One Cup semi-final

The Citizens remain strong favourites to progress to the final

Manchester City winger Jesus Navas will miss the first leg of Capital One Cup semi-final against West Ham with a knee problem.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini says the problem is not serious but he does not want to risk the Spaniard in the clash at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old appeared as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw at Blackburn in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

Pellegrini said: "He is not injured but he has a little problem.

"It is not very important, it is just a precaution."

Top scorer Sergio Aguero remains on the sidelines but is now back in training and is on course to return some time this month.

Aguero has been out since suffering a calf injury in the 6-3 win over Arsenal on December 14.

Pellegrini, speaking at a press conference to preview the West ham game, said: "He is working, he is training.

"It is very good news. All players recovering from injuries is good news, especially a player as important as Kun Aguero."

Fellow forward Stevan Jovetic could also be back in action during in January.

The Montenegro international has been hampered by a catalogue of injuries and illness since his £22million move from Fiorentina last summer and has made just five appearances.

Pellegrini said: "For the player it is always very bad news when he cannot play, but I think he is a very important player.

"He was the best choice to replace Kun Aguero when Kun got injured, but things happen and we must try to be optimistic for the future and suppose Stevan will play in the second part of the season."

Right-back Micah Richards is also back in training after a hamstring injury but will not feature against the Hammers.

Pellegrini said: "Richards can play but he is not in the squad. He needs to work a little bit more. He is not injured."

Centre-back Martin Demichelis is back in contention after four games out with a hamstring injury but midfielder Jack Rodwell is still out with a similar problem.

Pellegrini is yet to decide which goalkeeper will play in the cup match.

Costel Pantilimon, who recently reverted to being second choice after a spell in the side for Joe Hart, returned at Blackburn but made a costly error.

Pellegrini said: "Tomorrow we will see the 11 that start.

"I think he (Pantilimon) has responded well. I analysed the performance with the players and tomorrow we will see who will start."

PA

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