Manchester City face striking crisis for the Champions League
Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic both injured, while Dzeko not 100% fit for Roma
Sergio Aguero of Manchester City reacts after sustaining an injury during their English Premier League match against Everton.Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters
Manuel Pellegrini faces a striking crisis for Wednesday’s decisive Champions League game at Roma with Stevan Jovetic, who would normally start instead of Aguero, a doubt because of a hamstring problem while Edin Dzeko is not 100 per cent fit following a calf injury.
Aguero suffered ligament damage after two minutes of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Everton at the Etihad Stadium, the Argentinian leaving the field in tears.
He is due to have a scan today or tomorrow on Monday or Tuesday depending on when the swelling eases but City will be without their in-form striker, who has 19 goals in 21 appearances this season, for the final Group E match against Rudi Garcia’s side.
City are level on points with Roma and CSKA Moscow and know that, if they beat the Italian club and the Russian champions do not defeat Bayern Munich, they are through to the knockout phase.
Pellegrini, the City manager, said: “We would prefer to play with Sergio but, if he cannot play, we must try to continue the same way we have been playing in the last week. Remember, last season we played a lot of games without Sergio - and these are the same players and the same team.
Pellegrini denied that City, who have won their last five matches, are a one-man side. “Well, I don’t know if that is the [correct] perception about us.
“It is one thing that a player can be in a very good moment as Sergio was until today but I don’t think he has carried us. We have beaten a very difficult team like Everton without Sergio, without Silva, without Kompany, without Jovetic and with Dzeko only able to play 20 minutes.
“Every big team must have important players like Sergio. I suppose Ronaldo is very important for Real Madrid, Messi is very important for Barcelona but neither of those teams are all about just one player. The confidence is very high in this moment for the whole team but the injuries mean it is not the best way to approach such an important game as Roma.
“But I have confidence in this team and I hope we will do it in the same way that we have won these last five games.” Of Silva, Pellegrini said: “We will see. I hope he is better, maybe he is not 100% but we have three more days to decide. Kompany - the same thing.
“He is running but we will see on Sunday and on Monday especially to see if he can play. Jovetic has a small problem in his hamstring. I hope he will be Okay.”