Pellegrini calm over Aguero fitness setback and backs side to complete Italian job in his absence

Ross McLean
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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has backed his squad to cope with the absence of Sergio Aguero after the Argentina striker was ruled out of tonight’s Champions League clash with Juventus at the Etihad Stadium.

Aguero has failed to recover from the knee injury which forced him from the field during the first half of City’s 1-0 victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday following a challenge from defender Scott Dann.

The loss of the 27-year-old, who scored six Champions League goals last term, has been offset by playmaker David Silva and forward Raheem Sterling being declared fit after missing City’s trip to Selhurst Park.

“Sergio is not fit. It is difficult for him, he has an injury to his knee,” said Pellegrini. “I hope Sergio will be okay for the weekend but we must wait to see the result of the scans.

“We have Wilfried [Bony] and Raheem can also play as a forward, so we have different options. I trust this squad 100 per cent. We’ll see if Kevin de Bruyne will start.”

Italian champions Juventus were beaten in last season’s Champions League final and have made an uncharacteristically slow start to their domestic campaign. They are without a win in their opening three matches, although Pellegrini remains wary.

“We are playing a very strong Juventus. They reached the final last season and have won four titles in a row,” he added.

“Maybe Juventus did not start very well in their league but this is a different competition. They will be motivated.”