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First Team News

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Aguero close to return...

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Manuel Pellegrini says Sergio Aguero is close to full fitness ahead of the City’s Premier League clash against Stoke.

The Argentine has been side-lined since the end of January with a hamstring injury, but is nearing a return to action.

“He is working, not 100 per cent normally, but I think that next week, on Tuesday, he will start working with the whole squad,” the Chilean revealed.

“We’ll see during the week how he works.

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“Vincent doesn’t have any problem. It was just a [hamstring] feeling he had finishing the match [against Barcelona], but nothing important, he is working normally.

“Nastasic still has a pain in his knee, he’s the only player that’s not fit.”

City are currently in third position in the Premier League, three points behind leaders Chelsea, but with a game in hand.

The manager admits securing all three points tomorrow is vital if City are to keep the pressure on in the title race.

“It very important to win because it is the last Premier League game we are going to play in the Premier League for a while,” he said.

“I think it’s very important to continue trying to do what we can to arrive to the top of the table.

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“The only way to continue is to win against Stoke here at home and for that, we must play a very good game.”

The Blues have an impressive home record against the Potters, having won all five of their Premier League clashes on home turf.

But, despite this record, Pellegrini insists his side must be at their best if they are to get a result against Mark Hughes’ men and bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat against Barcelona.

“I expect that we are going to play against a difficult team tomorrow.  It’s a good team with good players,” he said.

“I just spoke with the players and we need to play with intensity and concentration as I am absolutely sure it will be a tough game for us.

 

I am sure that all the players know what happened in the game against Barcelona, we analysed the game.

 

...Manuel Pellegrini...

 

“But, it doesn’t have a relation to the Premier League, it is a different competition. They are absolutely clear, their minds are clear that we are fighting for the Premier League title and we must continue until the end.

“I don’t think there will be a psychological link between one competition and the other.”

 

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