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Sergio Aguero would have risked month on sidelines if he played for Manchester City, says Pep Guardiola

Aguero remains doubtful for Tuesday's trip to Vicarage Road to play Watford

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Sunday 02 December 2018 18:52 GMT
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Sergio Aguero missed Saturday's win over Bournemouth with a muscle injury
Sergio Aguero missed Saturday's win over Bournemouth with a muscle injury (Getty)

Sergio Aguero would have been ruled out for a month or more had he played against Bournemouth, according to Pep Guardiola.

The Manchester City manager left his top scorer out of Saturday’s 3-1 win at the Etihad as he begins contend with a busy Christmas schedule.

Aguero picked up a muscle injury last week and though the full extent of the problem is not yet known, the 30-year-old remains doubtful for Tuesday’s trip to Watford.

Guardiola suggested he could have played Aguero against Bournemouth, though doing so would have risked a lengthy lay-off up to five weeks.

With a busy December ahead, and a trip to Stamford Bridge on the horizon, the City manager did not feel he could risk the Argentine.

“I don’t know. Right now, I’m not quite sure,” Guardiola said when asked about Aguero’s availability for Tuesday. “That’s why I said before day by day we see.

“I speak with doctors every day, they make a report and a briefing. They say ‘ready’ or ‘not ready’ and we decide.

“If he plays [against Bournemouth], maybe four or five weeks off. In that situation this month, with a lot of games, he was not safe.

“It’s going to happen in the future, the next games. People start to be tired in a lot of games. That’s why we have a deep squad.”

Like all other top-flight clubs, City face nine Premier League fixtures over the course of the next month, culiminating in a top-of-the-table clash with Liverpool on 3 January.

City also have their final Champions League group stage game against Hoffenheim to contend with, as well as a EFL Cup quarter-final against Leicester City.

To combat the inevitable fatigue, Guardiola advised his players to do the basics – eat well, sleep well, drink “in a good way, no wine”.

The City manager stopped short, however, of complaining about his side’s schedule, despite saying last year that the festive fixture pile-up will “kill” players.

“What it is is what it is. Adapt,” he said. “We have a deep squad, some players in the second team, we are going to play 11 and everybody has to do their best.

“We play nine games, but many of our contenders and opponents do too. It’s not because we play more than the other ones.

“It’s the same, so why should we complain? Play every day, try to be there and play the game.”

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