New signing Wilfried Bony and Yaya Toure join the City squad after African Cup of Nations duty – James Milner misses out with injury
Sergio Aguero is 100% fit and can play 90 minutes
Barcelona may be looming on the horizon for Manchester City but Manuel Pellegrini will first have to negotiate a potentially tricky game at home to Newcastle United without James Milner who has a knee injury.
Milner, who has scored two goals in the last two games, had been expected to challenge strongly for a place in the side after a good run of form for City but injury will be a blow to the England man.
Pellegrini confirmed that Milner would miss the Newcastle game and his failure to train all week could see City miss out on his workrate when Barcelona come to visit.
“I don’t think it’s very serious but Milner couldn’t work for the whole week so we’ll see how he improves in the next day but he has a kick in the ligament in his knee.” explained the Chilean.
City are seven points behind the current league leaders Chelsea after a run of just one win in six games since the departure of Yaya Toure to the African Cup of Nations.
Toure’s victorious return with a winners medal and new signing Wilfried Bony will strengthen City’s options against the Magpies.
Pellegrini welcomed the return of City’s Ivorian midfielder and their new signing Wilfried Bony who he suggested could play alongside fit-again Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic or David Silva.
“Bony is an important player for us. He’s involved in the squad list tomorrow and we’ll see if he starts or comes on after a some minutes. He was involved in the whole week without any problems.
“He is a player who has played a lot of years here in England and has scored the most goals in the last year.
“He’s a player we need in our squad after we sold Alvaro Negredo.
“He has all the conditions to be an important player because we like to play with two strikers and I think he’s the perfect player for our squad.”
“Yaya is always a very important player to us. We didn’t win a lot of games without him but that wasn’t the only problem.
“We had strikers coming back from long injuries and perhaps both things together was too much for our team.
“I repeat we don’t just depend on one player but they are important players.”
The Chilean conceded that Manchester City can’t afford more slip-ups in the chase to retain their Barclays Premier League title.
“We can’t drop more points, but the important thing is if we win tomorrow against Newcastle we will have the same number of points as at the same moment of the season last year.
“I hope that tomorrow we will recover our normal performance here at home.
“It’s important not to drop any more points so the only way to do it is to play well and with intensity to win the next game against Newcastle.
“When we finish against Newcastle we can start thinking about Barcelona.”