Manchester City will be without Sergio Aguero for their Champions League Group D clash with Juventus due to a knee injury.
The striker sustained the problem courtesy of a heavy challenge from Scott Dann during City’s 1-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace on Saturday and missed training on Monday.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed at his pre-match news conference that Aguero would sit out against the Italian champions, although hinted he could return to face West Ham on Saturday.
“Sergio is not fit for tomorrow because of a kick in his knee so we are without him,” Pellegrini said.
“We will wait on him. We will see this afternoon how long it will be. I hope he will be okay for the weekend but we must wait to see the result of scans.”
Pellegrini will welcome back David Silva and Raheem Sterling after they missed the match Selhurst Park with respective ankle and knee problems, but Fernandinho and Samir Nasri picked up unspecified knocks against Palace and Pellegrini will wait for both men to be assessed.
Wilfried Bony is expected to lead the line in Aguero’s absence, with last weekend’s rookie goal hero Kelechi Iheanacho not part of City’s Champions League squad.
“We have Wilfried and Sterling can also play as a forward so we have different options. I trust this squad 100 per cent,” said Pellegrini, who could hand a full debut to record signing Kevin De Bruyne.
“We will see tomorrow if Kevin will start,” he said. “We need to make one change with Kun [Aguero]. Kevin played very well the other day [against Palace].”
Juventus have endured a stuttering start to their Serie A title defence, collecting a solitary point from their first three matches after the close-season departures of key men Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal.
But Pellegrini is expecting a tough test against last season’s Champions League finalists.
“We play a very strong Juventus,” he said. “They reached the final last season and have won four titles in a row.
“Maybe Juventus didn’t start very well in their league but this is a different competition. They will be motivated.”
Pellegrini has steered City out of the group stage in each of the past two seasons before coming unstuck in consecutive last-16 ties against Barcelona.
Understandably, the Chilean is keen to avoid a similar fate this time around.
He added: “I hope we qualify from the group and then I hope we will have more luck not to face the strongest team in the last 16.”