Man City V Swansea at Etihad Stadium : Match Preview

01 December 2013 12:12
Man City V Swansea - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Pellegrini tips Aguero for the top

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes star striker Sergio Aguero is well on his way to becoming the world's best player.

Pellegrini has already said he believes the in-form Aguero is behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo among the game's current greats.

The 25-year-old Argentinian has been outstanding this season having scored 15 goals in his last 12 games and 16 in total.

The prolific duo of Barcelona ace Messi and Real Madrid inspiration Ronaldo have been vying for the title of the world's best player in recent years but Pellegrini believes Aguero can join that elite company.

Pellegrini said: "We hope. That is what we are working on every day and what he wants.

"The ambitions of Sergio will be very important if he can arrive at that level."

Pellegrini, who took charge at the Etihad Stadium in the summer, previously encountered former Atletico Madrid forward Aguero during his time in Spain.

The ex-Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga boss believes his improvement since then has been considerable.

Pellegrini said: "He is a better player because he is older.

"He arrived in Spain when he was 18 or 19 years old. He was always a very important player, a top player, but this year he is trying to work a little bit more without the ball.

"You see, three or four of the last goals we scored are because he is doing a good job pressing on their defenders. I think he is more complete."

Pellegrini is certainly in no doubt Aguero, signed by City for B#38million in 2011, is the best player in the Barclays Premier League.

The Chilean said: "I said last week after Messi and Cristinao Ronaldo he is the best. Both are not playing in the Premier League, so he is."

Aguero has formed a formidable partnership with summer signing Alvaro Negredo this season with the pair having scored 27 goals between them.

The team as a whole has also been in fine goalscoring form of late with the net hit 22 times in the last four home games alone, including a 6-0 thrashing of Tottenham last weekend.

Swansea are the next side to visit Eastlands hoping to contain them and they will be short of firepower themselves with strikers Michu and Wilfried Bony both out injured.

Pellegrini claims he is reading little into that.

He said: "I don't think it will be easy. Michu is very important for them but we have other players injured.

"Swansea are a very strong team. They play very well. After Manchester City they are the team with most possession in the Premier League.

"We must play a very good game if we want to win here at home.

"Because we won against Tottenham doesn't mean we are going to win against Swansea."

Pellegrini says he is still to decide whether Costel Pantilimon or Joe Hart will play in goal against Swansea.

Captain Vincent Kompany (thigh) if fit but will not return this weekend and fellow defender Matija Nastasic (calf) is also out. Playmaker David Silva and striker Stevan Jovetic remain on the sidelines with calf injuries but midfielder Jack Rodwell has overcome his latest niggle.

Swansea defender Neil Taylor believes an away game at Manchester City is currently the greatest challenge in the Premier League.

City have scored 41 goals in 10 home games in all competitions, and they have recorded handsome wins over Manchester United, Everton, Norwich and Tottenham in the league.

Few will be expecting a Swansea side who have yet to fire this season to bring an end to the Etihad Stadium goal glut with the likes of Aguero, Negredo and Jesus Navas in the pink of form.

And Taylor admits that is understandable given City's current run.

"I think City away is the biggest challenge for anyone in this league with the way they play," he said.

"They're expansive and they look like one of Pellegrini's teams so I think it's a difficult game for us.

"Spurs were under par against them last week, but with the players they've got like Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Negredo, they've got four or five front players who would get in any team in the Premier League.

"They're playing really well. Pellegrini's teams are all or nothing, and at the moment it's the former.

"They're getting goals and even if they concede a couple they're likely to outscore you, but we'll concentrate on ourselves."

And Taylor insists there will be no fear in the Swans' ranks.

He said: "It is only football - there is no reason to be scared.

"You just get on with it. they are playing some great football, but we have played teams in the last couple of years who have been playing great football and stood our ground and got results.

"We will go there and anything we get will be a bonus.

"We can get results anywhere. We know some places are more difficult than others but you don't go anywhere being scared of the opponents.

"We can test ourselves against the best and that's what we want to do."

Swans manager Michael Laudrup is set to be without Bony and Angel Rangel.

Striker Bony will be out for several weeks with a hamstring injury suffered in the Europa League defeat to Valencia, while full-back Rangel picked up a calf injury in the dying moments of that game.

Alvaro Vazquez and Dwight Tiendalli are set to deputise, while Wayne Routledge should return from a calf injury.

Source: PA