Is Pep going to save Aguero the dilemma of exhaustion when they face Bournemouth?

Manchester City’s coach has to make very decisive selection as they face Bournemouth since their leading scorer looked exhausted in the closing stages against West Ham in midweek which ended with a slim win the blues who are giving a tight chase to Liverpool.

Aguero has 11 goals in his last nine games and has been in electric form of late, but he clearly needs a rest at some point. With no game in midweek he could put his feet up from Sunday, but the question has to be how much he can give at the Vitality Stadium?

Gabriel Jesus is back in training to give Guardiola an option to take Aguero out of the firing line, but it may be asking a lot of the Brazilian to come straight back into the starting XI.

If the 21-year-old is back on the bench Guardiola may be able to ask Aguero to give it his all for an hour, but it could be a risk given how fatigued he looked on Wednesday night.

The Blues will again be without their influential Brazilian, Fernandinho for the trip to the south coast and this could be the kind of game where they really notice his absence.

Ilkay Gundogan filled in against West Ham on Wednesday and he would be the favourite to do so again, but Bournemouth have the players capable of operating in the space Fernandinho would normally patrol and this fixture could be a real test for a City side without their midfield shield.

If Guardiola is keen for a more defensive presence in midfield he could opt for Danilo in that role ahead of Gundogan.

This is a chance for City to turn up the heat on their title rivals ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby. Liverpool have seen a seven point lead cut to one point over recent weeks and if Guardiola’s side can beat the Cherries they will be two points clear at the top by the time Jurgen Klopp’s men kick-off at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.

Everton have been an unknown quantity under Marco Silva but you can be sure they will be desperate to dent their Merseyside neighbours’ title ambitions with a result at the weekend.

City will have fond memories of the Vitality Stadium after Raheem Sterling’s 97th minute winner in August 2017. It was a crucial moment so early in the season.

Without it City would have had back-to-back draws, instead they began a run of 18 successive Premier League wins. Belief flowed through the squad and last minute winners became a theme of the season.

Guardiola will hope it is a more comfortable afternoon today, although he’ll take an equally inspiring moment at some point in the game.

The temptation is going to come for Guardiola to rotate his resources with City still battling on three fronts, but with a free week next week he can at least tell his players to give their absolute lot against Bournemouth, safe in the knowledge they can take it easy next week.

Recovery has been the focus since Wednesday’s win over West Ham, but from Sunday City’s players might be rewarded with an extra day off or two next week, as long as their manager heads back north in a good mood.

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