Pellegrini: City can reach last 16 without Aguero

Ross McLean
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Sergio Aguero has netted 19 times this term
MANCHESTER City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes his squad has the depth in firepower to cope with the loss of Sergio Aguero after the Chilean last night confirmed his prolific marksman is set for between four and six weeks on the sidelines.

City will have to contend without their 19-goal leading scorer, who suffered knee ligament damage on Saturday, if they are to navigate their pivotal Champions League clash with Roma tonight and reach the knockout phase.

Former Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic returned to training last night after being rested at the weekend as a precaution following a hamstring problem, while City’s other senior striking option is Edin Dzeko, who has four goals this term across all competitions.

“It is difficult to know exactly how long he will be injured,” said Pellegrini. “It could be four, five or six weeks. It depends a lot on the way he recovers.”

Influential skipper Vincent Kompany and Spanish playmaker David Silva are also in contention for recalls after shaking off hamstring and knee injuries respectively, as City bid to avoid a third group-stage elimination in the last four years.

Three teams in Group E are locked on five points behind runaway leaders Bayern Munich and all have the chance to progress. City will qualify for the last 16 if they beat Roma and CSKA Moscow fail to win in Germany, while a score draw will suffice if the Russian champions lose.

“It is an important game,” added Pellegrini. “We have a good squad. We have made mistakes in the other games but we are fighting to qualify. If we can win against Bayern Munich, we can do it again against Roma. I always expected a difficult group and I never expected easy games to play.”