Injuries mean City could turn to Foden

27 November 2018, 05:33 | Updated: 27 November 2018, 06:28

guardiola foden

Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to leave nothing to chance and wrap up qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare in Lyon tonight.

The Premier League champions were moments away from securing a place in the knockout stages as they thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 earlier this month only for a late Hoffenheim goal against Lyon to delay them.

They will now look to finish the job themselves as they take on the French side in their penultimate Group F fixture at the Groupama Stadium.

A draw would suffice for City - who are bidding to reach the knockout stage for a sixth consecutive year - but a win would see them through as group winners.

Guardiola said: "I want to qualify, that is the first target. That is the most important issue.

"If you make one or two mistakes you can be out. It's not done until it's done. We have two chances but we would like to avoid the pressure against Hoffenheim."

A clutch of midfield injuries could see Guardiola turn to youngster Phil Foden in France.

Bernardo Silva has not recovered from the knock that kept him out of Saturday's victory at West Ham while Ilkay Gundogan has since joined a casualty list that also includes Kevin De Bruyne.

Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy are also out, but it is in one of the midfield positions there could be an opening for 18-year-old Foden.

"He played 20 minutes in the last game and was so aggressive with the ball and intense without it," said Guardiola at his pre-match press conference.

"I have the feeling that, every time he has played, he has played good. In pre-season or during the season, a few minutes or 90 minutes, he always plays good. He's ready to play, he's part of the squad. He's definitely ready."

Defender Aymeric Laporte is expecting another tough night against Lyon, who claimed a surprise 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in the opening round of fixtures.

"After each loss there is a little bit of (desire for) revenge but we are coming up against one of the biggest sides in Europe here," said the Frenchman. "They have some great players.

"We have to focus on ourselves and concentrate on the game."

Laporte, speaking alongside Guardiola in Lyon, was also asked by a local journalist if he was frustrated by his continued lack of recognition at international level.

The 24-year-old said: "Maybe for the French this has an impact but I'm at City. The objective is high performances for City today, tomorrow and in the future."