Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has no intention of resting players for Saturday’s clash with Everton and says key attacking trio Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling are “much, much, much better”.
Guardiola’s men host Everton at the Etihad Stadium at the weekend before he makes an emotional return to Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Spaniard could be forgiven for prioritising the game with Barca, with whom he won three LaLiga titles and two Champions League crowns in a glittering four-year spell as coach, but he is adamant he will be giving Everton his full attention.
“Tomorrow is the most important game,” he said.
“I’m not thinking about the game after. The best approach is to win on Saturday.”
Guardiola stopped short of saying De Bruyne, Aguero and Sterling will play against Everton but said their participation would be discussed on Friday afternoon.
De Bruyne sustained a hamstring strain against Swansea City last month, Sterling has a calf problem that saw him miss England’s games with Malta and Slovenia while Aguero suffered an injury scare while away on international duty with Argentina.
“All three are much, much, much better,” said Guardiola.
“Some will play on Saturday, some will not. They trained well in the last few days. I don’t know if they’ll play for 90 minutes. We’ll have to think about it on Friday afternoon.”
One man definitely out is Bacary Sagna, who has a hamstring problem.
“It’s a pity because Bacary didn’t play the last two games,” said Guardiola.
“I said 10 games ago that he played a lot of games last season because Pablo [Zabaleta] was injured. Then Bacary got to the final of Euro 2016 and he only trained in pre-season for two weeks. Then he went away for two weeks with France and got injured so now we are three weeks without him.”