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City without Zabaleta for Saints clash

City will be without Pablo Zabaleta for the Premier League match with Southampton on Sunday.

With Bacary Sagna sidelined with a hamstring injury, that leaves boss Pep Guardiola with a selection headache ahead of the match.

The Catalan boss was in upbeat mood after the defeat in Barcelona though, declaring himself impressed with his side's performance until the sending off of Claudio Bravo.

Guardiola said: “Until the first goal when Fernandinho slipped the game was under control and we were playing really well. But it’s a good lesson for us. Last three or four times we’ve played with Barca, most of time we’ve played with 10 men.

“With 10 you cannot imagine how difficult it is. There were many good things. John Stones, Ilkay  Gundogan... it was the first time they have been to Barca. So we need time, last season we were the oldest team in the Premier League so we tried to change that, but we need time to learn."

The manager spoke about Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero following the midweek game, saying the Belgian centre-back was not fit enough to play and that Aguero was named on the bench for tactical reasons.

On Kompany, Guardiola said: "I’ve never trained with him in the past. What I have seen from when he’s fit is that he’s a real centre defender. I like him.

"But we tried to take care of him."

On Sergio the boss added: "I spoke with Sergio, he was very understanding and he helped us from the bench. I thought in the last minutes when Barca are tired Sergio could have helped us."

City are looking for their first win in four games, but Guardiola's side go into the match on top of the Premier League.

Southampton come into the match off the back of a 1-0 Europa League defeat to Inter Milan on Thursday evening.

Guardiola added: "I watched the Inter game. Southampton played amazing, much better than Inter, Inter shot once and won. I was impressed. It will be tough, but of course we need to win again."

Claude Puel's men sit eighth in the table on 12 points, with the Saints' last Premier League result a 3-1 win at home to Burnley.

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