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Jan 4, 2013

Depleted City hope Aguero returns at Arsenal

Manchester City hope that Sergio Aguero will recover from his hamstring injury to face Arsenal in next Sunday's Premier League game.

• Bennett: Mario v Mancini
• Blog: Transfer list or team sheet?

The Argentine limped off in the 3-0 win over Stoke on New Year's Day and has been ruled out of Saturday's FA Cup tie against Watford.

But manager Roberto Mancini hopes last season's top scorer will be fit to appear at the Emirates Stadium, saying: "Sergio is out for tomorrow. We hope he can recover for Arsenal."

Mancini finds himself short of players for the Watford game with Aguero joining Jack Rodwell, Aleksandar Kolarov and Micah Richards on the injured list, Samir Nasri suspended and Kolo and Yaya Toure and Abdul Razak all unavailable because of the African Cup of Nations.

The Italian has ruled out allowing players to leave in the January transfer window saying that Joleon Lescott, who has been linked with Aston Villa, has to stay at the Etihad Stadium.

He added: "We don't have enough players to play 40 days without Yaya, without Kolo, with eight players injured. We need players in, not out.

"Tomorrow [for Watford] we have 16 [senior players]. We have to put two young players on the bench."

It is why he has ruled out resting his stars for the game against the Championship club, adding: "We don't change the players."

The FA Cup tie pits Mancini against Gianfranco Zola, another great Italian striker and a former rival in the days when the City manager played for Sampdoria and his Watford counterpart was at Parma.

He added: "I respect him as a player when we play and as a manager. I think he did a good job for West Ham and now for Watford."

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