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Hughes praises Aguero

It’s matchday as we welcome Stoke to the Etihad and there’s plenty of build-up in today’s news outlets.

Mark Hughes has been speaking to the Stoke Sentinel ahead of today’s game and he has been praising a certain City striker, four years after watching him play a key part in one of the Blues’ most historic games.

The Stoke boss is quoted as saying: “Sergio Aguero's been here for what, five or six years, and passed 100 Premier League goals, so that tells you that he's a consistent performer and a game changer at Premier League and European level.”

"What gets him into good positions is his work ethic.

"He's a team player, but with that he's selfish in and around the box when he will get shots off when other strikers won't because they can't create that half-a-yard of space.

"He's one of those players that his fellow professionals respect, even if he isn't scoring.

"He's got an awareness and a footballing intelligence which enables him to pick the right pass and offload when he needs to."

The Manchester Evening News focus on Eliaquim Mangala in one of their five things to consider ahead of the game.

Rob Pollard writes: “One of the most encouraging aspects of City’s performances in recent weeks has been the form of Eliaquim Mangala.

“His physical qualities have never been in doubt. He’s quick, powerful and athletic – a prototypical centre-back.

“What has, at times, let him down has been his reading of the game and concentration.

“However, there’s been a serious upturn in form over the last month, with a series of commanding performances seeing him keep his place despite Vincent Kompany’s return to the side.

“He’s becoming a key figure.”

A Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid awaits City on Tuesday but Manuel Pellegrini is featured on the FourFourTwo website as saying his squad are fully focused on Stoke and getting the three points.

They state: “Manchester City are gripped by Champions League fever ahead of a crunch semi-final clash with Real Madrid, but Manuel Pellegrini has warned his players that their involvement in the competition next season should not be taken for granted.

"’All of them want to play the Champions League next year also,’ he said of his squad.

"’Not just leave the Premier League out and just think about the Champions League because that has important consequences for the future. The same players will not play in the Champions League if they think in that way.

"’So I'm sure that none of them are thinking nothing more than to win against Stoke. Then we are going to start talking about Madrid.’

“Pellegrini admitted he was tinkering with the idea of two different XIs for the matches with Stoke and Real but said performance would ultimately guide his decision.

"’Maybe you have an [ideal] starting XI but after that you must see the performance of the players. So after that, until the last day, I can make some changes,’ he said.”

And finally, Mats Hummels’ father and agent has been speaking about a potential summer move to City and HITC are one of many news outlets to run the story.

Antony Martin scribes: “Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels' agent and father has given Manchester City a boost in the race for his son's signature, as reported by Sky Sports via German sports publication SID.

“Herman Hummels spoke about the Etihad being an attractive proposition for his son.

“He said: ‘Manchester City could be a very interesting option. They've not done so well this year, but they are going to win the league next year. They are getting the best coach in the world.’

“Hummels has appeared in 27 of Dortmund's 30 Bundesliga games this season, and has helped his team secure second place in the league, while they still have an outside chance of catching Bayern Munich at the top.

“Bayern are another club who have been linked with Hummels' signature, and it wouldn't be the first time they have poached a star player from their rivals.”

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