Manchester City have been boosted by the return of Aleks Zinchenko for the Champions League clash with Porto, as Pep Guardiola also provided a positive update on Gabriel Jesus. Speaking ahead of the game, Guardiola said Zinchenko was back, and Ilkay Gundogan could start for the first time this season.
Pep Guardiola said “We need to win tomorrow, home games are so important. After we will see how the team grows. We are still a little bit away from where we want to be but Aleks Zinchenko is back and many players are back in good condition – [Ilkay] Gundogan, Bernardo [Silva] and Joao [Cancelo].Gabriel, Kevin and Aymeric are expected back in the next weeks. It depends on our performance and we will see what happens.”
Zinchenko has not featured so far this season, while Jesus picked up an injury in the opening day Premier League win over Wolves. City go into their first group game of the new Champions League campaign against Portuguese champions Porto, and will still be without Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy and Jesus. On Jesus, Guardiola had previously said the striker will need to be managed carefully to prevent any aggravation of his muscle injury, suggesting he could be out for a period of ‘months’ if he was rushed back too soon. But on Tuesday, Guardiola sent a more positive update on Jesus, saying he could return in the next couple of weeks along with Laporte and De Bruyne. Guardiola also repeated his previous update that Benjamin Mendy is facing a slightly longer period on the sidelines.
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