Xenia Sports – London
Manchester City will again be without record goalscorer Sergio Aguero for this weekend’s Premier League clash with Fulham.
Aguero has missed City’s last two games after suffering discomfort in his knee and, despite returning to training, the club are unwilling to take risks with his fitness.
The 32-year-old had a knee operation in the summer and his comeback this season has already been complicated by a hamstring injury.
Asked if he was in contention for Saturday’s game at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola said: “No. He is getting better. Today he was part of the training, that is the good news. He is already on the pitch with us.”
Guardiola was unwilling discuss this week’s latest controversy involving Porto following the Champions League meeting between the clubs on Tuesday.
City claimed the point they needed to top Group C with a goalless draw at the Estadio do Dragao but the game has been overshadowed by more inflammatory post-match comments from the Portuguese club.
Porto boss Sergio Conceicao, who accused Guardiola of trying to influence the officials after an ill-tempered contest at the Etihad in October, this time said he would have been “upset” not to have won “with the team and the budget” of his opposite number.
An official newsletter from the club then criticised the character of Guardiola and City players Fernandinho and Bernardo Silva.
But with a City official having already issued a general comment on the matter, Guardiola felt it best to leave it there.
He said: “I’m focused on Fulham. Fulham is the important thing. We are in the last 16 of the Champions League. That was the target when we started. Now it is Fulham.”
City are hoping to build on last week’s 5-0 thrashing of Burnley to ignite their Premier League campaign after an underwhelming start.
They face a Fulham side who have struggled since securing promotion but claimed an impressive victory over Leicester on Monday.
“They are a courageous team,” said Guardiola. “I enjoy watching them for the way they play.
“Of course they made an incredible result, winning at Leicester away. It’s not easy. We know the opponent we are going to face tomorrow.”
The game will be former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola’s 700th as a manager. The 49-year-old, who recently extended his contract at City until 2023, has indicated he is just halfway through his career.
He said: “Seven hundred games. I’m going to do 700 more and after that I’m going to retire.
“In life when you start something you don’t expect what will happen in the future. I never expected it (to reach 700). It’s good to have 700 games with few defeats in these games.
“For all the players and staff we had in Barcelona B team, first team, Bayern and here, we share it.
“It is an incredible number and we have made incredible things together. Hopefully we can do it in the future.”