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Pep’s Presser: Stones update, Foden and Brahim plans, why Aguero/Jesus don’t play together

Pep Guardiola addressed the press at lunchtime today ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League game against Feyenoord, which could see his team win Group F after securing qualification in the last Gameweek.

The City boss declined to give much away about tomorrow’s team selection, but did reveal that he will “play to win” tomorrow and also said City “have no B team”.

“I will prepare and the players will prepare to win the game. The Champions League is a prestigious competition. We will play to win,” he told reporters.

Asked for an update on John Stones, the news was no different than on Saturday. The influential centre-back is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“John Stones will be out between 4-6 weeks. All of the month he will be out. Hopefully he will recover well for January.”

Pep again commented on City’s smaller squad size, and that could mean minutes for youngsters coming up – although the golden boy Phil Foden won’t solve the defensive headache, as Pep pointed out.

“Phil Foden can play in many positions but not central defence! We don’t have a big squad. It is not easy to play 12 games in a short space of time.

“I will like to see how we will react – how players will play in different positions than they are used to playing.”

Despite Stones’ injury and hints that a new centre-back could be on the way in January, City still have options in the middle of defence.

“We have Mangala, Vincent and Nico. Kyle can play in the middle, as can Fernandinho. If Mendy was fit, he could play there. We will find a soluton. The spirit is good. Everybody can make a step forward.”

Many Blues will be delighted to hear that Pep believes both Foden and Brahim Diaz are ready to start games.

“Phil Foden is ready to start a game. Brahim as well. Two young players. I see them in training, in the World Cup, they are ready. They would not be training with us otherwise.

“The skills are there. The quality is there. We can help them with the speed.”

Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus rarely play together of late, and Pep was asked why by a member of the press. His reason is related to the injury to Benjamin Mendy.

“When you have Mendy, he goes wide. Without Mendy, Sané has to go wide, which is why they don’t play together.”

Finally, are City one of the favourites to win the Champions League? Not in Pep’s eyes.

“The favourites are Barça, Real Madrid, etc. For people to put us there is a big honour. We haven’t done anything yet. We have a big history to build in Europe.”

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