REUTERS - Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, forward David Silva and defender John Stones will miss Saturday’s Premier League home game against Crystal Palace due to injury.
Aguero injured his groin during City’s 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough last weekend, meaning Brazil international Gabriel Jesus, who has only recently recovered from a broken foot, will lead the line.
”No (Aguero is not fit),“ Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. ”Hopefully, next one but this game no.
“Gabriel was important for the last two weeks. I would have liked to play him and Sergio together because of our lack of goals in the season.”
Silva is back in training after injuring a hamstring in last month’s FA Cup semi-final defeat by Arsenal, He is expected to return to action before the season ends along with Stones, who has an abductor problem.
Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo’s campaign is over, however, due to a calf injury he sustained against Manchester United last month.
City are fourth in the table, three points behind third-placed Liverpool, who have played a game more, and Guardiola is counting on the fact that three of his team’s four remaining games are at home.
“Definitely, I prefer to play at home rather than away,” he added. “It is still in our hands.... You know if we win all four games, we will definitely be in the Champions League, maybe in the third position. It depends on us.”
City must get past Palace, a team who are fighting for survival and have developed a reputation for punching above their weight recently with wins over Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.
“I know how tough Crystal Palace are - they were able to win against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool as well as Leicester - the last champions - and West Brom,” Guardiola said.
“Palace, in the way they play with their manager Sam Allardyce, have huge quality in their strikers. Allardyce is a top coach.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond