Manchester City vs FC Shakhtar Donetsk - Mendy doubtful for Man City as Aguero eyes record goal

Posted Tuesday, September 26, 2017 by PA

Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy will be given a fitness test ahead of Tuesday's Champions League Group F clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

France international Mendy was forced off during the first half of Saturday's victory over Crystal Palace with a knee injury but the problem is not considered serious.

Meanwhile Mendy's opposing full-back Kyle Walker is relieved he no longer has to deal with the "nightmare" threat of Sergio Aguero in games.

Right-back Walker now has the task of creating goals for the prolific Argentinian having left Tottenham for Manchester City over the summer.

Aguero, who is just one short of equalling City's all-time goalscoring record of 177, has tormented Spurs since arriving in England in 2011, netting nine times against the Londoners.

Walker said: "To play against he is a nightmare. Facing him numerous seasons, he always seemed to score against us. It was frustrating.

"Having him on the same team now is a big bonus, he is a quality player. You see what he has done in the Premier League.

"You know if things aren't going well he is the kind of player who can produce that bit of magic for us, put us that goal up or pull us back into the game."

Aguero has scored six times in six appearances this season, including a hat-trick in a 6-0 win at Watford. He will get a chance to pull level with the club record mark of Eric Brook, which has stood since 1939, at the Etihad Stadium.

Manager Pep Guardiola said: "I hope as soon as possible he can make that record as it means we don't talk about that. I'm pretty sure that in the next games it's going to happen."

City have been in fine form in recent weeks, scoring 22 goals in their last five outings in all competitions. They will hope to maintain the momentum against the Shakhtar but Guardiola expects a tough test from the Ukrainian champions.

Guardiola said: "They beat one of the best teams in Napoli. Napoli are one of the three or four or five best teams, playing football, in the world.

"People say, 'Napoli, it's not Milan or Juventus' and, 'Shakhtar, it's Ukraine', but this group is tricky."

Captain Vincent Kompany (calf) remains on the sidelines along with midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (knee).

Paulo Fonseca admits his Shakhtar side face a daunting task.

Shakhtar have been impressive enough this term, winning nine of their 11 games in all competitions, but City have been in formidable form.

Fonseca said: "We are going to be playing one of the best teams in the world, the team that has probably played better than anybody else in the last six games.

"We understand the strengths and weaknesses of the players and the manager but this is going to be a game of maximum complexity."

Shakhtar were rocked last week by the news their captain Darijo Srna, the vastly experienced former Croatia international, had failed a drugs test.

The 35-year-old has not officially been banned over the out-of-competition test but he has voluntarily made himself unavailable as he fights to clear his name. The nine-time Ukrainian Premier League winner insists he has never knowingly taken a banned substance.

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