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City v West Ham: Fernandinho, Laporte update

PRESS CONFERENCE: The manager previews the game...

PRESS CONFERENCE: The manager previews the game...

Pep Guardiola revealed Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte will not be in contention before City’s FA Cup trip to Swansea.

The pair were substituted in Sunday’s Carabao Cup triumph over Chelsea through abductor and hamstring injuries and Guardiola admitted he does not expect the duo to return before the visit to the Liberty Stadium in mid-March.

Gabriel Jesus and John Stones (groin) are also likely to miss Wednesday night’s Premier League clash against West Ham, but there was better news for Benjamin Mendy, who could return to face the Hammers.

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“We were without John and Gabriel and we are still without them,” he told press, “and Ferna and Aymeric.

“I don’t know [how long they will be out]. In the next weeks, they will be out but I think John and Gabriel will be back soon.

“The others I’m not sure – maybe Swansea or after the international break. Ferna can’t play against Schalke as he is suspended.

“Mendy is better. He was training for the last three fays and the reaction from his knee is good.

2019

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Blue skies for Carabao Cup champions

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“He could be fit to play. We will see.”

Wednesday’s encounter will see some familiar faces return to the Etihad Stadium, as former manager Manuel Pellegrini, Pablo Zabaleta and Samir Nasri will revisit their old stomping grounds.

Guardiola spoke highly his Hammers counterpart, and expressed his delight to see Nasri back in action.

“Manuel did an incredible job [at City],” he continued. “He was outstanding. He has a good team and has a lot of respect.

“I’m delighted Samir is back. I wanted us to work together in my first year. I knew him for a short time before he played for Arsenal and City – and about his quality. I’m so happy he can show his level.

“He won the Premier League here and you know the respect we have for the players.”

2018/19 Carabao Cup dressing room celebrations!

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Buoyed by Sunday’s Carabao Cup success, Guardiola hopes his side will continue to build momentum, as the Blues look to push for Premier League title glory.

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“We will fight until the end for the title,” he stated. “We have to run tomorrow and beat them; then win again.

“Mentality makes a difference. We have good players and I want to see the desire tomorrow that we want to win the title.

“I want to see their faces tomorrow that they want to win. After that, we have three days and then Bournemouth!

“We are going to put out a strong side. I don’t want to see any excuses from my players about being tired.

“Always, the guys train good. We’ve won our second title of the season so the conditions are better, but the reality is that we don’t have too much time to think about what happened.

“On Wednesday, we have another test.”

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