Various: Pellegrini heralds the return of Aguero
- 24 February 2014 07:28
- Posted by markbooth_mcfc
Let’s not dwell too much on the weekend that was - not with a Monday head…
Instead, let’s move straight on and look forward to the weekend where the Blues have a date with destiny – the chance to end a 38-year wait for the League Cup trophy.
City’s first-team returns to training tomorrow morning ahead of their date with Gus Poyet’s Sunderland at Wembley on Sunday, with a certain Argentine striker expected to play a full role.
Sergio Aguero has been out of action since the 5-1 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane on January 29 but he could be back just in time for the Capital One Cup final next weekend.
That’s timely news for Manuel Pellegrini who will be delighted to welcome back the man who has scored 25 goals in 25 appearances.
"Agüero can give us all a huge lift, not just for the Capital One Cup final but for the rest of the season because, for me, he is one of the top five players in the world,” Pellegrini told journalists after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Stoke City.
"He has been unlucky this season to have some injuries. He has had two long injuries but when he's fully fit, he is a player who can make the difference."
The 26-year old was a beaten finalist in 2011 when Arsenal were surprisingly edged out by Birmingham City, so complacency certainly won’t be an issue for the Marseille-born playmaker on Sunday afternoon.
“I don’t have good memories in the Cup because I lost the final with Arsenal,” the French star remembers.
“It can be [a good platform for the rest of the season] but I have the [bad] experience with Arsenal. So a win would be really important for us and for the confidence.”
That one is now just six days away.
There are also a couple of transfer snippets hanging over from the weekend, with the most eye-catching rumour that of Martin Skrtel potentially swapping Anfield for the Etihad – if Liverpool should fail to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
“Skrtel has impressed for the Anfield club this season as Brendan Rodgers’ side look to secure a top-four place, and his performances have alerted City,” Mokbel writes.
“The Slovakian signed a contract extension in August 2012 and is said to be happy on Merseyside.
“But he wants to play Champions League football and with Liverpool still on course to qualify, Skrtel remains hopeful of achieving his goal at Anfield."
...Sami Mokbel - Daily Mail...
“However, City are ready to pounce should Rodgers’ side once again fail to make the top four.”
Remember the only place you can read confirmed transfer stories is here on the official website this summer!
Finally, the UEFA 2016 European Championship qualifying draw was held in Nice yesterday, throwing up some exciting City-centric match-ups.
Kompany versus Dzeko, Kolarov and Nastasic against Nasri and Clichy are but two of the inter-squad rivalries born out of the pots on the road to the tournament to be held in France in two years.
The players took to Twitter after the draw was made to share their reactions, with Edin Dzeko and Vincent Kompany clearly relishing the prospect of facing one another for Bosnia and Belgium respectively.
@VincentKompany 50-50 on the pitch, but who's got the better fans, come on be serious 😉 the best fans are Bosnians and u know i'm right 💪— Edin Džeko (@EdDzeko) February 23, 2014
That’s all for today, remember mcfc.co.uk is your first port of call for all of your Capital One Cup final build-up this week.