Mens Team

Fitness positives for Guardiola ahead of Burnley

Fitness positives for Guardiola ahead of Burnley
Pep Guardiola has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of Manchester City’s game against Burnley on Saturday.

Nathan Ake is back in training after recovering the injury he picked up on international duty and is available for the Clarets’ visit to the Etihad Stadium following his two-match absence.

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The Dutch defender was the only player to miss the midweek win over Olympiakos due to injury, with Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy both returning after a month out.

Ake’s availability means that Guardiola has a full complement of players to choose from for the first time this season, something he admits is a timely boost ahead of the busy festive period.

“Everything is good,” he said when asked for an update on the squad’s fitness at his pre-match press conference.

“It’s much better to have everyone. It’s tough but with this amount of games we need rotation - it will be so, so important.”

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Whilst City’s clean bill of help is certainly positive, Guardiola again acknowledged that although Sergio Aguero is injury free, he is still short of peak fitness.

The Argentine replaced Gabriel Jesus for the final 12-minutes of the 1-0 win over Olympiakos, his first appearances since a hamstring issue forced him off against West Ham United last month.

It was the striker’s second spell on the sideline this season, having missed the first five games as he recovered from the knee injury he picked up against Burnley in June.

Aguero’s contract runs out at the end of the current campaign and he is yet to agree a new deal, but Guardiola’s primary concern is helping the Club’s record goalscorer get back to his best.

“He’s going to give us good moments this season,” the manager added.

“He’s still not in his best condition. We cannot forget how long his injury was and he came back and was injured again.

"He is a guy who in the middle of the season needs to be so sharp.

"He has always had the quality to score in the box, we don't have doubts about that but he needs a bit of time and training sessions to get the minutes he will have. 

"He deserves talks that are fair for him and everyone. I have been lucky to play with great players and he is one, for sure, but especially as a human being.

"I've never found a big star to be like Sergio is.”

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