Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident Wilfried Bony has what it takes to replace Sergio Aguero during his injury lay-off.
Aguero picked up a muscular problem while away on international duty with Argentina and faces a one-month spell on the sidelines as a result.
That gives Bony a chance to prove his worth and Pellegrini has little doubt the former Swansea City striker is up to the job.
“Sergio has a muscle injury,” the City boss said at Friday’s pre-match media conference.
“It’s an important injury so I don’t think he will be back before one month. But I always trust Wilfried – he’s a very good player.
“He’s had very bad luck here. He arrived here in January, he went to the African Cup and then he had problems with his knee.
“Last season he couldn’t demonstrate what he can do but now he has the responsibility.”
Bony netted twice in 10 top-flight appearances for City last term, but has yet to find the net this season, whereas Aguero has already scored six goals in the Premier League in 2015-16.
Aguero will be joined by David Silva, Fabian Delph, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov on the sidelines, but Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Fernando are all ready to face AFC Bournemouth at the weekend.
“Silva has had a kick to his ankle – he’s out. Kolarov also has a hamstring injury,” Pellegrini added.
“We’ll see how they improve in the next week – I hope both of them can be back in 15 days.
“Delph and Clichy continue to recover with old injuries. Delph maybe one week more he will be working with the squad.
“Yaya and Samir are both recovered – Fernando had a small problem in his knee but he’s recovered.”
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