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From the Pitch

Mourinho plays down Aguero absence

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says that Manchester City could be even more dangerous without suspended striker Sergio Aguero.

Aguero is starting a three-game ban after being charged with violent conduct after elbowing Winston Reid in the game against West Ham United. Without Aguero on the pitch, Mourinho argues that City becomes a little more unpredictable.

“Yes, it changes because it is more difficult,” Mourinho said.

“When Aguero is available we know that Aguero plays. We know their formation and what their dynamic is. Nobody has doubts. When a player like him is ready he plays. At this moment he doesn’t play.

“They have a very rich squad full of options and now Guardiola can have many different decisions. One thing is if he decides to play with Iheanacho. Another thing is if he decides to play with Sterling. Another one is for example if he decides to play with Silva as a fake number nine in between the lines.

“So they have so many options that for us in the preparation of the game we have to go step by step. We have to go situation after situation because we try to reduce the unpredictability of the game.

“We know they have so many options so to try to do that job for the players is more difficult. It looks a little bit of a contradiction but without Aguero it is more difficult.”

Mourinho also revealed that he has a healthy squad, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marouane Fellaini coming back from injuries.

“Everybody is available,” Mourinho told MUTV. “It’s not the same as if we were here all week and working, resting and not travelling, but there are no injuries and everybody has returned safely and on time for at least one training session. Everybody is ready and wants to play, of course.

“Mkhitaryan is available. I’m not saying he’s ready to play 90 minutes but he’s ready to try to help us.”

Mourinho plays down Aguero absence

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