Pep Guardiola admits Sergio Aguero is suffering from a foot injury ahead of Manchester City’s visit to Anfield next Sunday.
The Argentinian was substituted immediately after scoring City’s second to wrap up the points in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Brighton.
It now appears the decision to withdraw him was a precautionary measure in aim of ensuring he is fit to play two vital upcoming games leading into the international break.
City will first look to respond to their opening day Champions League defeat to Lyon when they travel to face Hoffenheim on Tuesday. This will be followed by a mouth-watering clash with joint-Premier League leaders Liverpool on the Sunday.
Discussing the injury, Guardiola said: “Sergio is struggling a bit with some problems in his foot,” per the Evening Standard.
“He is not 100 percent. He has not recovered from what happened against Newcastle and we spoke about playing 60 minutes and we were lucky he scored at the right moment.”
“Now we have two games left before the international break and hopefully he can do those two and then make a final recovery.”
Though neither Jurgen Klopp nor his men would wish injury onto any opponent, Aguero’s absence would be a monumental boost as the Reds seek to re-take the lead at the top of the table.
The striker has scored six goals and registered four assists in 13 games against Liverpool, and was a notable absentee in last season’s Champions League quarter-final clash as he managed just 24 minutes across the two legs.
A chance at some respite during the international break could convince Guardiola to play City’s scoring talisman in arguably his side’s two biggest games so far this season.
With Aguero himself having displayed few signs of discomfort on the pitch, Liverpool should have every expectation they will be facing the 30-year-old come next weekend.