Man City Down to 15 Men for Hoffenheim Clash

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Injury-hit Manchester City have just 15 senior players fit for Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Hoffenheim, boss Pep Guardiola revealed yesterday.

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.

City are already through to the Champions League last 16, but they need 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 their first Premier League defeat of the season at Chelsea on Saturday, a setback that saw Liverpool move above them 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.

Similarly, Veteran Dutch winger Arjen Robben will play no part in Bayern Munich’s Champions League clash at Ajax due to an ongoing knee injury, the Bundesliga giants announced yesterday.

Robben, 34, has been out injured since scoring twice in a 5-1 win over group rivals Benfica last month and has yet to fully recover.

Robben, who scored Bayern’s winning goal against Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final, confirmed in Monday’s edition of magazine Kicker that he will quit the Bavarian giants at the end of the season.

Bayern, who sit top of Group E on 13 points, need just a point at Amsterdam Arena today to qualify for the last 16 as group winners.

With a two-point deficit to Bayern, a win for Ajax would see the Dutch giants finish top of the group.

As well as Robben, injured midfielders Corentin Tolisso and James Rodriguez have also been left off Niko Kovac’s matchday squad.

RESULTS

Galatasaray 2-3 Porto

Schalke 04 1–0 Lokomotiv

Club Brugge 0-0 Atletico

Monaco 0-2 Dortmund

Barcelona 1-1 Tottenham

Inter 1-1 PSV

Red Star 1-4 PSG

Liverpool 1-0 Napoli

TODAY’S FIXTURES (9pm)

Ajax v FC Bayern

Be Fifa v AEK Athens

Man City v Hoffenheim

Shakhtar v Lyon

R’ Madrid v CSKA

Plzen v Roma

Valencia v Man Utd

Young Boys v Juventus