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15 senior players open to Guardiola in duel against Hoffenheim

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AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claims he is down to 15 available senior players for today’s Champions League match against Hoffenheim after David Silva and Fernandinho were added to his injury list.

Silva will be out for “a few weeks” after sustaining an apparent hamstring injury in City’s 2-0 Premier League loss at Chelsea on Saturday.

Fernandinho completed his team’s first league defeat of their title defence but appeared in discomfort towards the end of the 90 minutes.

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Kevin De Bruyne’s ongoing rehabilitation from a knee ligament injury means Guardiola’s first-choice midfield three from last season are not available to take on Hoffenheim, with a point required for City to secure top spot in Group F.

Sergio Aguero remains out with an abductor complaint, although the Argentina striker could be back when City host Everton on Saturday, while full-backs Benjamin Mendy and Danilo remain on the sidelines.

On Silva’s injury, Guardiola explained: “He was substituted for a muscular problem. He will be stopped for a few days, a few weeks

“Maybe Sergio has a chance for the weekend.

“We have 15 players available, so rotating, I cannot do it too much.

“We are in a real tough game. We are in the next stage, that is important. We want to win the game because every game we have to try to win, [we want] to finish first.

“It doesn’t matter if you finish first or second, the last 16 is always tough.”

Guardiola spoke of how highly he rates Hoffenheim counterpart Julian Nagelsmann, dating back to their meetings when the Catalan was in charge of Bayern Munich.


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