Pellegrini: Tough to leave Aguero out
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admits Sergio Aguero will have no difficulty getting back into his team.
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Pellegrini appears to have some selection issues looming as Aguero gets back into his stride after a month out injured.
Aguero made a goalscoring return off the bench after an eight-game lay-off against Blackburn in the FA Cup midweek.
His strike - just 50 seconds after coming on - was his 20th of a prolific campaign but it says much for City's fearsome attack that he was hardly missed during his absence.
Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko, who have scored 21 and 15 goals respectively, led the line well during the Argentinian's time out.
Yet although Aguero is again set to be among the substitutes again against Cardiff this weekend, the 25-year-old is soon likely to be back starting.
Pellegrini said: "It would be difficult to leave him out.
"We've got so many games to play that we need the best performances from them.
"We'll see which is the best way to start the next one.
"For the moment Sergio is just coming back from an injury and he's not fit yet to play 90 minutes."
City's 5-0 win over Blackburn, which secured a fourth-round tie with Watford, was the latest in a series of big wins at the Etihad Stadium.
It also took their goal tally for the season to 99 and, as they average four a game at home, the century seems likely to be broken as Cardiff visit in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.
For now Negredo is their most potent goalscoring weapon with the Spaniard having scored seven in his last four games.
The 28-year-old has been an instant hit since his move from Sevilla last summer, which at £20million came at a fraction of the cost paid for Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao elsewhere in Europe.
Pellegrini, a former Malaga, Real Madrid and Villarreal coach, said: "All of them are very important strikers, top players.
"But I thought that here we had Dzeko, so if we could bring in Negredo as well we could be very strong with both of them.
"I think both of them are playing the way they can. We are very happy with them and now we don't need any more strikers.
"I thought that at the beginning of the season too. They are top players."
While the goals have hardly stopped flowing this season, City have occasionally shown vulnerability at the back.
Yet in that regard, City do seem to have tightened up with clean sheets in the last three games.
Pellegrini, mainly due to injuries, has tried numerous central defensive partnerships but now regards the pairing of captain Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis as his preferred choice.
That represents a shift in the pecking order to the cost of Matija Nastasic, who has been hampered by ankle and calf injuries this season.
Joleon Lescott has also featured more prominently in recent weeks, but Pellegrini insists it is a fluid arrangement.
Pellegrini said: "At this moment Kompany and Demichelis are the first choice.
"But I am very happy with the whole squad - I can change them."
As City strive onwards in four competitions, there has been talk of records but that is not Pellegrini's main concern.
He said: "Of course (I would be proud) but it can't be the most important thing to break records.
"What's important to me is that the team keep on playing in the same way.
"If we carry on in this way and score over 100 goals - then perfect, but we are not trying to break a record.
"We are not going to go all out attack just because we want to score 100 goals.
"We will try to continue in the same way and see how many we have at the end of the season."