Aguero's return a big boost for City

After serving a three-match suspension for elbowing Winston Reid last month, Sergio Aguero is set to return against Swansea.
After serving a three-match suspension for elbowing Winston Reid last month, Sergio Aguero is set to return against Swansea.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Forward back from suspension to lift Pep's spirits as club await Kompany injury update

LONDON • Pep Guardiola's perfect start at Manchester City suffered a rare setback when Vincent Kompany was injured in midweek, but prolific Sergio Aguero returns for the Premier League leaders at Swansea today.

Club captain Kompany was playing his first game in six months on Wednesday, having recovered from groin surgery, as City won 2-1 at Swansea City in the League Cup third round.

The Belgium centre-back appeared to be fine until the closing stages of the match, when he left the pitch and ran straight down the tunnel.

Yesterday it was revealed that he has suffered yet another injury setback after groin muscle fatigue was diagnosed as the reason for his premature departure.

The severity of the problem will be known only over the next two days, with further tests to be done.

The injury is the 34th of the 30-year-old's eight years at the club - 30 of which have occurred since 2012.

"The positive for Kompany and City is that the injury is not a recurrence of the calf problems that disrupted his progress last season," the club wrote on their website.

However, when City face Francesco Guidolin's team for the second time in four days at the Liberty Stadium today,they will have Aguero.

The Argentina forward has completed a three-match suspension imposed retrospectively after television cameras caught him elbowing West Ham defender Winston Reid during a league fixture last month.

With the Argentinian certain to return, the impressive Kelechi Iheanacho, who has deputised for City's star striker, may be forced to return to the sidelines.

Aguero, as with all the players in contention for today, has spent much of the week in south Wales, with City choosing to stay at Celtic Manor, the 2010 Ryder Cup venue near Newport, between the two Swansea games.

"If we had come back to Manchester on the Thursday for rest and recovery, then on the Friday morning, we would have to come back again," Guardiola said. "I would prefer to be there for the regeneration because this week is so important for us.

"We have two Premier League away games. We have a crucial game in the Champions League in Glasgow at Celtic. I want us to recover well and train well."

Guardiola has delved deep into his squad over the last few days, making nine changes for Wednesday's game.

But most of those who figured in last Saturday's 4-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth are likely to be restored.

Guidolin is under significant pressure after his team extended their winless run to four matches on Wednesday.

Former Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs is reportedly ready to replace Guidolin if results do not improve, but the Italian is understood to retain the support of Swansea's American owners.

"We just have to look forward," Guidolin said. "If we play well and work hard, I think we are going to have some better moments."



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2016, with the headline 'Aguero's return a big boost for City'. Print Edition | Subscribe