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Trio out for Chelsea trip

GUNNERS IN HIS SIGHTS: Manuel Pellegrini

GUNNERS IN HIS SIGHTS: Manuel Pellegrini

City will be without David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Raheem Sterling for the trip to Chelsea.

Kompany is not ready to return from his calf injury, David Silva is managing his ankle pain and Raheem Sterling is out with a groin injury.

The good news is the rest of the squad is fit, and all three should be in the frame for the trip to Newcastle on Tuesday.

Ahead of the Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid on 26 April, Pellegrini has challenged his side to pick up nine points from the three intervening Premier League games, starting at Stamford Bridge.

Pellegrini said: "Chelsea is an important game. We have three Premier League games before the Champions League, it's a very important nine points with qualification to next season's Champions League in mind."

He added: "The target is to try to add as many points as we can from now until the end of season and we’ll see where we finish. The first and second position doesn’t depend completely on us, though.

“For Chelsea, David Silva (ankle) is out, Raheem Sterling has started working but hopefully he’ll be ready Tuesday, and Vincent Kompany should be ready for Tuesday - all the other players are fit.

“I think Silva will manage the situation until end of season, but it’s difficult for him to play two games in a row in quick succession, he has pain in his ankle.”

One player who is fully-fit and firing is Kevin De Bruyne, who makes a return to his former club.

The brilliant Belgian helped City into the semi-finals with a sublime finish against PSG, his third goal in four games since returning from a knee problem.

“He’s very important for me; if you have all your players 100 per cent fit it’s better," Pellegrini said. "For different reasons we couldn't have that so when Kevin returned he demonstrated how important he was. Most important is to continue playing as a team."

Asked if De Bruyne can raise his game even further, Pellegrini reflected: “He’s a young player it depends how he improves, he keeps the ball well and he has goals. I think we’ll see him improving.

“Kevin is very professional he wants to reach the top with City.”

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