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Aguero boost for City

Luis Figo, in Milan, on Thursday

London: Sergio Aguero could give Manchester City a fitness boost before their trip to Real Madrid on Tuesday as the Premier League champions prepare for a testing week.

On Saturday City have a potentially tricky clash with Tony Pulis’ obdurate team, and then face a daunting Champions League showdown with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

With two contrasting, yet equally demanding, away games coming up, City boss Roberto Mancini could do with having Argentina striker Aguero, who injured his knee during the opening weekend win over Southampton, available for selection.

He looks certain to start in one or other of the games and there could also be roles for four of the new players signed in transfer deadline week — defenders Maicon and Matija Nastasic, midfielder Javi Garcia and winger Scott Sinclair.

“They’re different challenges,” said City assistant coach David Platt of his team’s next two games. “I think we will see the benefit of having the size and quality of squad we’ve got because we will be playing every three days right up until Christmas.

“That’s when, strategically, you’ve got to pick the right teams both physically and tactically.

“The balance of the squad is good in terms of the alternatives that we’ve got. I think we’ve got more strength in depth than we did have. “We’ve got a lot of players to choose from. I think the manager is delighted with the way things have gone.”

Gareth Barry remains City’s one high-profile absentee after a hernia operation and his injury has been cited as a reason for the team’s poor defensive start to the new campaign, with the Mancini’s men having leaked seven goals in their opening four games. (AFP)