Despite his goal and impressive display against Crystal Palace at the weekend, Pep Guardiola must axe Sergio Aguero for Manchester City’s game against PSG at the Etihad on Tuesday night.
The Argentinian made a rare start at Selhurst Park and scored the opening goal thanks to a sumptuous touch and finish from Benjamin Mendy’s cross.
However, he has only just regained match fitness after an injury-hit season and has struggled in previous starts this season, notably against Leeds United and Leicester City, so the match against PSG might be a step too far for the legendary striker.
Guardiola’s side produced a superb second-half display at Les Parc des Princes last week to earn a 2-1 away win, in which Kevin De Bruyne featured as a striker, and it seems likely that the Spanish manager will stick with the same ‘strikerless’ tactic which proved so effective in France.
Although Aguero has two goals in the Champions League this season, it would be unwise to throw him in from the start against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, as he is still likely building match fitness after featuring just once in April.
It would be something of a ruthless decision by Guardiola to leave him out after scoring a goal which could’ve sealed City the Premier League title, had Manchester United vs Liverpool gone ahead, especially as he will undoubtedly go down as one of the Citizens’ greatest ever players.
After his goal at the weekend, Guardiola sang his praises, saying:
“What a goal, what a player and what a man. I’m completely in love with him. He is an absolute top legend, an extraordinary player.
‘The people cannot believe it but we’ve missed him. We haven’t been able to use him many times, but maybe we got him back at the right time. He knows he has a special quality.”
However, the Spanish manager has to put sentiment to one side for this game and ensure that City build on their 2-1 advantage from the first leg, in order to seal their spot in the Champions League final.
In what is likely to be such an intense game, banking on Aguero from the start would be a huge gamble, one that Guardiola sould not take.