Injury-hit City heads to Hoffenheim in search of top spot

David Silva and Fernandinho have joined an injury list at Manchester City that already featured Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Danilo, Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has claimed that only 15 senior players are fit to play the Champions League clash against Hoffenheim.   -  AFP

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claimed that his side has just 15 senior players fit for Wednesday's Champions League tie against Hoffenheimm.

David Silva and Fernandinho have joined an injury list at City that already featured Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Danilo, Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo.

“We have 15 players available so I cannot do too much,” Guardiola told reporters when asked if he would make changes against Hoffenheim.

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City is already through to the Champions League last 16, but it needs at least a point to be sure of finishing as Group F winners, which could ensure an easier draw in the first knockout round.

“We are going into a really tough game. We are in the next stage and that's important but we want to go through finishing first. If you finish first or second the last 16 is tough but to play at home (in the second leg) is a small advantage.”

Guardiola's injury problems come after City suffered its first Premier League defeat of the season at Chelsea on Saturday, a setback that saw Liverpool move above it into top spot in the table. Spanish midfielder Silva was substituted at Chelsea with a hamstring injury and Guardiola said he faces “a few weeks” out.

Argentina forward Aguero, who has missed three games with a groin problem, could return to face Everton on Saturday.

The focus will be on what happens in Kiev where Shakhtar Donetsk must beat visitor Lyon to leapfrog the French side for second spot. Lyon will top the group if it wins and City loses, a combination which would see Hoffenheim squeeze past Shakhtar for the Europa League spot.

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