LONDON • Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero could equal the club's all-time scoring record in today's Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk and his manager Pep Guardiola believes he is one of the best strikers in the world.
Aguero's goal in the 5-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday took him to within one goal of equalling Eric Brook's record for City with his 176th goal for the club in all competitions.
"I hope as soon as possible he can achieve that record so at least we can not talk about that. I am pretty sure that in the next game, it is going to happen," Guardiola told reporters yesterday.
"Last game again he scored a goal, and had two or three chances more so that is essential for a striker that you have (chances).
"We are able to score more goals with more people. The opponents are more focused on other guys (and) then he is more free to score more goals. Sergio is in no doubt one of the best strikers in the world."
The Spaniard said Aguero has kept his ability to be deadly in the penalty area while becoming more a part of the team's overall play.
"Maybe now we play more with him. We are looking not just in the finishing. Before maybe Sergio just scores a goal," he added. "Now in the process... we know always he is there. He is so quick (over the first few metres) and he is so powerful in the legs and I am so happy he is doing that."
City, who thrashed Feyenoord 4-0 in their opening Group F game, will be without captain Vincent Kompany, who is sidelined with a calf injury and Ilkay Gundogan, who is out with a knee problem, while Benjamin Mendy faces a fitness test on his knee injury.
City are looking to open a Champions League campaign with two straight wins for the first time in seven attempts. Guardiola said it was vital his team did not underestimate the Ukrainian side, who got their campaign off to a good start by beating Napoli 2-1.
Guardiola said he had always experienced difficult games against Shakhtar during his time at Barcelona.
"Always was so tough for me. For Barcelona, we have good results but it was so tough," he said.
"They beat one of the best teams in Napoli. Napoli are one of the three, four or five best teams, they are leading the Italian league and Shakhtar beat them.
"That group is tricky. The players today are going to see how good they (Shakhtar) are and hopefully I can convince them to take them seriously. At this level, you cannot concede a lot of minutes not playing well."
MAN CITY V SHAKHTAR
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