Manchester City will be without Sergio Aguero and John Stones for this weekend's Premier League clash with Arsenal, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Aguero has missed City's past five matches because of a thigh injury and Stones limped off in last Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United.

Neither player is fit to return for Sunday's trip to Emirates Stadium, while David Silva is also doubtful after sitting out training on Thursday and Friday.

"Stones has got a muscular injury. I don't know when he will be back," Guardiola said at his pre-match news conference. "Sergio still hasn't trained with the team.

"David is not fit. Yesterday and today he could not train so we'll see tomorrow. He got a kick in the leg - it was painful, but not a big issue."

Silva's potential absence could pave the way for Phil Foden to start for a second game running.

The 19-year-old was on the scoresheet in Wednesday's 4-1 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb and Guardiola is prepared to show greater faith in the youngster.

"He has played 50 games and is 19 years old. In one of the top teams in Europe I don't know if there's anyone of his age who's played that many," Guardiola said.

"We're delighted with him and he'll play incredible games in the future. We're so happy with the way he played - it was an incredible experience for him.

"Maybe not all 50 games are 90 minutes, but he's been involved in tough games - Tottenham last season, Atalanta, we trust him a lot. 

"Every season he's playing more minutes and one day, maybe not that far away, he'll be a player who will play every weekend. We'll see when."

City trail Premier League leaders Liverpool by 14 points ahead of their showdown with Arsenal, who sacked head coach Unai Emery last month.

Freddie Ljungberg has won only one of his four matches in interim charge, but Guardiola is expecting a "big test" in north London.

"The club decided on a person who had a long time at the club many years ago, someone who knows the feelings, the fans, the way they like to play," Guardiola said.

"We'll have to figure out what they'll try to do - normally they have a typical style of play. They have quality between the lines. Arsenal away is always a big test for any team."

Asked about the ongoing speculation linking his assistant Mikel Arteta with the Arsenal job, Guardiola replied: "You can be 45 years old and not be ready or 35 years old and be ready.

"Only he knows. I spoke about it two weeks ago. He's got two weeks more experience since then, so he's ready."

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has admitted he struggled to cope with the weight of expectation on his shoulders prior to his recent goalscoring run.

Jesus has filled in for injured team-mate Sergio Aguero over the past fortnight and scored a hat-trick in Wednesday's 4-1 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb.

That made it five goals in three matches for the Brazil international, who ended an eight-match wait for a goal with a brace against Burnley last week.

Jesus revealed his confidence took a battering during his recent goalless run, but he refused to give up and is pleased to have been rewarded.

"Honestly, last month I was no good and I wasn't happy," he said, quoted by several British newspapers. "I played nine or 10 games, didn't score and I missed chances so I'm not happy with that. 

"When this happens, of course I cannot be happy. Sometimes football is like that. You have to keep working hard and try to score, try to help the team and that's what I have done.

"I cannot talk about other players, I can only talk about me, but when I'm not happy with myself I want to shoot myself in the head because it's difficult for me.

"I take it [personally] of course. I think, 'Oh my God, I have to score, I have to score, I have to score.' When I have the chance, sometimes I miss because I think I put too much pressure on myself.

“In my head it was like that. Always I think, ‘Wow, I have to score’ because I'm playing for a big club in big competitions with big players and it's like I shoot in my head. I say, 'Next game'. 

"Sometimes it can happen that you don't score. It happened with me but I keep working and this month has been a good month for me." 

With Aguero doubtful for Sunday's trip to Arsenal, Jesus acknowledged the pressure is still on to score goals.

The 22-year-old, who made it 101 career goals for Palmeiras, City and Brazil with his treble in Croatia, said: "I try all the time to do my best and sometimes I cannot do it and that's the way. 

"But it's important for me to keep scoring goals because I have to. I'm at a big club and play with big players.

"I'm in a single competition with Sergio - a friendly competition. I hope that when he plays, he scores. I always want him to help the team and his team-mates. 

"When I play he does the same, which is amazing. I have to learn from him because he's scored a lot for the club and throughout his career but I'm happy to reach 101 goals in my career."

John Stones was omitted from the Manchester City squad to face Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Wednesday after he was injured during the Manchester derby.

Stones limped off in the second half of Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United, which dealt another blow to City's fading hopes of winning a third straight Premier League crown.

The England defender missed training on Tuesday and was subsequently left out of the group for the trip to Croatia's capital, with David Silva and Sergio Aguero also missing out alongside long-term absentees Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte.

Pep Guardiola's side are boosted by the presence of Oleksandr Zinchenko, who returns from two months out with a knee injury to add to City's options at their problem left-back position.

City, already through as winners of Group C, have included teenage defenders Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis in their squad.

Guardiola, who led Barcelona to two Champions League triumphs as coach, is seeking his first European title with the English club.

Gabriel Jesus feels the pressure is on to score in every game at Manchester City.

Brazil international Jesus ended a 10-game drought for club and country with a superb brace as City returned to winning ways with a 4-1 win at Burnley on Tuesday.

A thigh injury to the club's all-time leading scorer Sergio Aguero has granted Jesus an extended run in Pep Guardiola's first XI – an opportunity the 22-year-old knows is weighted with a burden of expectation.

"I know I can score every game but it's difficult – football is not like this," he told Amazon Prime.

"I have Sergio with me. I have to learn with him because he is a legend of football and of the club.

"I have to score when I play because Sergio scores every time. That is my ambition, to play and score every time."

Jesus's Turf Moor brace marked a timely return to form, with Saturday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium up next.

City edged to within eight points of Premier League leaders Liverpool, who face their own local argument against Everton at Anfield on Wednesday.

"It was an important game. We're eight points behind now, that's good for us," Jesus said.

"That is the level of the Premier League, every time it is like this. We know Burnley has good players and they play so good with the set-pieces.

"We played good again and tonight we could score the chances."

He added: "That is the challenge. We have to fight. The Premier League is so difficult and Liverpool are having a great season."

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has been voted 18th in the final list for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, a fall of 15 places from last year.

Griezmann finished behind only Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo 12 months ago after winning the World Cup with France and impressing for Atletico Madrid at club level.

However, an underwhelming end to his Atletico career and a tough start to life at Barcelona - who he joined in a €120million deal in July - has seen him drop down the list.

It marks the second time the 28-year-old has slipped from third to 18th, having done likewise in 2017.

Griezmann's Barcelona team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen finished 24th and Frenkie de Jong, who spent the first half of the year with Champions League semi-finalists Ajax, was voted 11th in the standings.

Three Liverpool players missed out on the top 10, with Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino in 26th, 19th and 17th, respectively.

Fellow Premier League side Manchester City were also heavily represented in the 30-11 rankings, as were Dutch champions Ajax following their run to the final four of last season's Champions League.

Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk are the frontrunners to win the most prestigious individual accolade in world football during Monday's ceremony.

Ballon d'Or 30-11 list in full:

=28. Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)

=28. Donny van de Beek (Ajax)

=28. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)

=26. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

=26. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

=24. Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)

=24. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

23. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

22. Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

=20. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

=20. Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

19. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

18. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)

17. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

16. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

15. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)

14. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

13. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

12. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

11. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola says he has no plans to stop selecting midfielder Fernandinho in central defence, despite the availability of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

The Premier League champions were thrown into a defensive crisis when Aymeric Laporte was ruled out for six months after damaging the lateral meniscus in his right knee in September.

Stones and Otamendi endured a torrid time in the first game following Laporte's injury against Norwich City, with the latter particularly at fault in a damaging 3-2 defeat.

Guardiola has selected Brazil international Fernandinho as one of his two central defenders for every Premier League game since then and insists he has no intention of stopping.

Asked why he has not played Stones and Otamendi together, Guardiola told reporters at his media conference ahead of City's visit to Burnley on Tuesday: "Because I like Fernandinho in that position. I prefer him in that position; that's why he plays."

Pressed on why he continues to choose a midfielder in defence, Guardiola responded: "I prefer [Ilkay] Gundogan and Rodri in midfield."

Guardiola also reiterated that Sergio Aguero will miss Saturday's derby against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

The Argentina international sustained a thigh injury in the 2-1 win over Chelsea on November 23, with Guardiola saying: "He is not ready for the derby but after the derby we will see."

City's 2-2 draw with Newcastle United on Saturday means they are now a whopping 11 points behind runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola acknowledges his side will have to be at their best to avoid dropping more points against Sean Dyche's outfit.

"It is always difficult for teams [to play against Burnley]," he added. "What they do they do perfectly. They are so good in the second balls and are free-kick scorers so we need to adapt and play our way.

"They attack really well and in defence they are so aggressive."

Manchester City are facing the prospect of "a few weeks" without Sergio Aguero, according to Pep Guardiola, who must reconfigure his attack for key matches in the talismanic Argentine's absence.

A thigh injury sustained in City's 2-1 win over Chelsea on Saturday is set to deprive Guardiola of the man who has scored nine goals in 12 Premier League appearances this season as the champions take on Newcastle United, Burnley and local rivals Manchester United.

Aguero's injury thrusts Gabriel Jesus into the spotlight, giving the 22-year-old Brazil international an opportunity to build on his record of four league starts and three goals this term.

That City have a player of Jesus' quality in reserve speaks volumes about the strength of Guardiola's squad, but with Liverpool already nine points clear of them in the table there is no room for error in the title race.

City's reliance on Aguero has become almost second nature over the last nine years, but many are predicting a shake-up at Etihad Stadium as he approaches his 32nd birthday in June.

The next few weeks may provide Guardiola with valuable insight into what a post-Aguero future might hold for his side.

GOALS NEVER FAR AWAY WHEN AGUERO IS AROUND

Aguero has scored 51 goals in 70 Premier League appearances since August 2017, giving him an average of a goal every 103.1 minutes.

Contrast that to Jesus' return of 23 goals in 68 appearances - an average of a goal every 137.2 minutes - and you can see why City fans might baulk at the thought of going without Aguero for any length of time.

And it is not just deadly finishing that makes Aguero so indispensable; he is one of City's most creative players in and around the box and has created 86 chances compared to Jesus' 46 since August 2017.

Aguero's selfless play has given him a goal involvement rate of one every 78.5 minutes, whereas Jesus is more of a poacher with a goal involvement rate of one every 105.2 minutes.

Further stats in Aguero's favour include a better duel success rate (44.0 compared to 41.3) and a slightly more accurate passing record (83.5 versus 81.5), making the experienced Argentine a more attractive option when City require more than just goals.

JESUS SHAPING UP TO BE CITY'S NEW SAVIOUR

Ask any City fan about their most potent goal threat and they will most likely wax lyrical about Aguero's prowess, but Opta's data since August 2017 presents a strong case to back the view that Jesus a comparable asset.

When you include blocked shots, Aguero has an intimidating shot conversion rate of 20.1 per cent but Jesus is not far behind, having found the net with 18.3 per cent of his attempts on goal during the same period.

Jesus has also made more tackles (34 compared to Aguero's 31) and has a higher dribble success rate (60.2 per cent compared to 58.3 per cent) than Aguero, and he can even boast more shots on target per 90 minutes than his South American team-mate.

Given that Jesus plays with far less regularity than Aguero, he remains remarkably consistent, hitting the target with 2.0 shots every 90 minutes, while Aguero works the goalkeeper with an average of 1.7 shots per 90.

CITY THRIVE WITH JESUS IN THEIR SIDE

Direct comparisons between Aguero and Jesus are limited in their usefulness, given that the former plays so much more regularly and that they each have distinct styles of play.

Perhaps more telling is City's track record when either player is present or missing, and the good news for supporters is that their effect on the team appears remarkably similar.

City's team stats improve when Jesus starts league games compared to when he does not, with average goals for rising from 2.6 to 2.9, win percentage increasing from 79.3 to 87.1, and points-per-game going up from 2.4 to 2.7.

Likewise when Aguero is in the starting line-up, City do better - although not across as many different metrics.

Average goals for jumps from 2.5 to 2.7 when Pep includes Aguero from the start and win percentage rises from 81.5 to 82.3, but points-per-game stays at a steady 2.5 and average goals against increases from 0.7 to 0.8.

All of which should go some way to soothing the fears of City supporters for whom Aguero is seen as a saviour, and remind them to make room in their hearts for Jesus.

Sergio Aguero will miss the Manchester derby with a thigh problem sustained in the win over Chelsea, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Aguero was forced off with the injury in the 77th minute of City's 2-1 victory in the Premier League on Saturday.

Guardiola informed reporters after the match that he believed Aguero's injury was "bad" but could not provide any further details.

However, in his news conference to preview City's Champions League meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk, Guardiola confirmed Aguero will be out of action for several weeks, meaning the striker - who has scored nine league goals this term - will miss the clash with Manchester United on December 7.

"Yes," Guardiola responded when asked if City would be without Aguero for the derby.

"He will be out for a few games, don't know exactly [how long], a few weeks, but he'll be out."

Guardiola was unable to pinpoint Aguero's exact issue, but suggested the problem was a muscular one in the striker's thigh.

"Exactly where I don't know, his [thigh] tendon, at the front."

Gabriel Jesus is set to lead City's line in Aguero's absence, with the 22-year-old Brazil international, who has five goals in all competitions so far in 2019-20, confident he can grasp the opportunity to shine.

"I'm not happy because Sergio is injured. I don't like my friends being injured but I work here every day and I'm ready to play, because I want to improve so yes, I'm ready," Jesus said.

"It's not easy [to wait]. I'm a guy who wants to play, wants to work and improve. I don't feel happy because I want to play but I respect everything and keep working.

"I have to do it all of the time because I am at a big club with big players and a big manager so I have to work and improve as much as possible."

Despite playing second fiddle to Aguero, Jesus insists he has no regrets over moving to City in January 2017.

"When I decided to come to City I knew it was going to be hard because we have Sergio who is the top scorer of the club and scores every game, I knew this," Jesus added.

"I have a chance to play under Pep, with top players here at a big club so that's why I came, to enjoy it and to learn."

Sergio Aguero may have sustained a "bad" injury as Manchester City earned a comeback Premier League win at home to Chelsea, said manager Pep Guardiola.

City only had 46.74 possession against the in-form Blues, the lowest recorded by a Guardiola side in his 381 top-flight matches as a manager, but they collected a crucial three points.

N'Golo Kante had given Chelsea a deserved lead by squeezing a clever finish past returning goalkeeper Ederson, but Kevin De Bruyne's deflected shot levelled the score before Riyad Mahrez curled in what proved the winner.

City's comeback, though, was marred by a trio of injuries to key players as Rodri, David Silva and Aguero all had to be substituted during the second half at Etihad Stadium.

Aguero appeared to be in some discomfort as he hobbled off and Guardiola fears the striker could miss some time for the champions.

"I think Sergio will be bad, I think so... this feeling, tomorrow [Sunday] we will know," Guardiola told Sky Sports.

"We will see tomorrow, the feeling is it is muscular. It is what it is, we have young players and we will try [to cope if Aguero is ruled out]."

Their title hopes dwindling, Manchester City face another tough assignment when Premier League action resumes this weekend as they welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium.

The back-to-back English champions lost 3-1 away to Liverpool in their most recent outing and find themselves fourth in the table, nine points adrift of the unbeaten leaders.

Saturday's visit of Chelsea is far from ideal for Pep Guardiola, then, with Frank Lampard's in-form side sitting a point better off than City after winning six league games in a row. 

Chelsea's youngsters are firing on all cylinders while City's big hitters have seemingly gone off the boil, but the Blues have lost three of their last four top-flight trips to City, including a 6-0 thrashing in this corresponding fixture last season.

CHELSEA PUNCHING ABOVE THEIR WEIGHT

The loss of Eden Hazard, coupled with a transfer ban that, as things stand, will stretch into a second window, was supposed to spell the end of Chelsea's top-four aspirations.

That has been far from the case, however, with Lampard being given freedom to turn to youth in his debut campaign as a Premier League boss.

A 26-point gap separated the sides last season, yet with nearly a third of the current campaign played it is Chelsea who are better positioned.

The obvious question, of course, is whether they can last the distance and maintain their push for silverware on multiple fronts.

Chelsea were also third after 12 games last season, but the mood is far more positive around Stamford Bridge compared to 12 months ago when Maurizio Sarri was in charge.

The shift to focus on youth has yielded dividends, with Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount thriving, but there is one major flaw to this Chelsea side - an inability to defend.

They have conceded 17 league goals so far - no side in the top nine has let in more - and shipped four at home to Ajax in the Champions League earlier this month.

City, too, have had defensive issues of late, highlighted in the defeat at Anfield that saw their makeshift back four opened up countless times.

Guardiola's men have registered four clean sheets in their last 11 league games, contributing to three defeats already this term - one fewer than in the whole of their title-winning campaign last time out.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: SERGIO AGUERO V TAMMY ABRAHAM

Keeping out the opposition has been a problem for both sides, but they have certainly not lacked goals of their own.

No Premier League team has scored more goals than City's 35 this term, with Sergio Aguero responsible for nine of those.

Aguero tends to fare well in this fixture, too, having scored 10 top-flight goals against Chelsea - only versus Newcastle United (15) and Tottenham (11) has he managed more.

The Argentina international has found the net eight times in his last six league appearances against the London outfit, including a hat-trick in the 6-0 thrashing nine months ago.

Only two players have scored more Premier League goals than Aguero in 2019-20, one of those being Tammy Abraham, who will lead the line for Chelsea.

Abraham has netted in back-to-back top-flight fixtures and has opened the scoring in five different league games this term - at least two more than any other player.

Nine of his 10 goals have been scored from open play inside the box - eight with his right foot and one with his head - while Aguero has six open-play goals inside the area.

Both players have two assists to their name, showing that there is more to their game than just finding the back of the net.

FORM GUIDE

City have been beaten by Norwich City, Wolves and Liverpool in their last eight league matches - as many defeats as they suffered in their previous 26 games in the competition.

The 2-0 loss to Wolves came at the Etihad Stadium on October 6 and Tottenham drew 2-2 there in August, but City have won 13 of their 15 home league matches in 2019.

Chelsea beat Palace 2-0 last time out to make it six successive Premier League wins, a feat they last achieved in May 2017 when winning the title under Antonio Conte.

Away from home, meanwhile, Lampard's side have won five in a row, scoring 18 goals in those matches at an average of 3.6 per game.

HISTORY SAYS...

City were penalty shoot-out winners when the sides met in last season's EFL Cup final following a goalless draw and tend to perform well in this fixture.

The reigning champions have won three of the last four Premier League meetings between the sides, keeping three clean sheets in the process.

Chelsea have collected just two victories from their last 10 league trips to City, winning 1-0 in February 2004 and 3-1 in December 2016.

They shipped six goals in the most recent league encounter and have kept only one clean sheet in their last 12 visits to the Etihad Stadium.

Lionel Messi scored a stoppage-time penalty to secure Argentina an entertaining 2-2 draw with Uruguay in Tel Aviv on Monday.

Argentina fell behind when Edinson Cavani, who scored in Uruguay's 2-1 win over Hungary on Friday, notched his 50th international goal in the 34th minute.

That lead was cancelled out when Sergio Aguero headed home a set-piece delivery from Messi, before Luis Suarez restored La Celeste's advantage five minutes later with a superb free-kick.

Messi missed a penalty and scored on the rebound in a 1-0 win over Brazil three days ago, but he made no mistake from the spot on this occasion and clinched the draw in the 92nd minute.

Some players thrive under the spotlight more than others – Liverpool will hope Sadio Mane proves his mettle against Manchester City, when the focus will be on him for more than one reason.

Mane has established himself as one of the Premier League's great entertainers and arguably Liverpool's biggest attacking threat, yet he has also earned himself a reputation as a purveyor of the dark arts – or "diving", as Pep Guardiola put it on Saturday.

Earlier that day, Mane had gone down very easily in the penalty area during Liverpool's 2-1 win at Aston Villa. Under pressure from Frederic Guilbert, the forward theatrically went to ground and was swiftly shown a yellow card for simulation by referee Jon Moss.

Jurgen Klopp and Mane have had their say since and come to the conclusion that the Senegal forward is not a "diver" – and even Guardiola appeared to backtrack – yet this weekend he will come under intense scrutiny over his conduct, performance and attitude, particularly given that this was by no means the first time the former Southampton star courted flak for diving.

Considering Mane's importance to Liverpool, Klopp will be desperate for him to harness that attention to the Reds' benefit on the big stage, something Sergio Aguero has become remarkably adept at. 

Aguero the benchmark

Since joining City from Atletico Madrid in 2011, Aguero's productivity in games against the so-called "big six" has been truly remarkable.

In 67 matches, Aguero has scored 44 goals from 241 shots with a conversion rate of 18.3 per cent. Against any standard of opposition that would be considered outstanding – to boast such a record against the Premier League's best is astonishing.

But he is yet to score in seven trips to Anfield, making it his least favourite away ground. 

Jamie Vardy is the closest to Aguero in terms of goals, with 31 in 59 matches. While that may not be as impressive, the fact that haul comes from 109 shots – giving him a startling 28.4 per cent conversion rate – suggests he relishes such occasions like few others.

Mane's record of 18 goals in 53 matches against the top sides may pale in comparison, but it remains impressive and is bettered by only six players.

Sadio the main Mane at Anfield

There is little doubt Mane has become the most influential attacker at Liverpool this season, with 12 goal involvements (nine goals, three assists). Mohamed Salah has 10 split equally between goals and assists, while Roberto Firmino is on nine (five goals, four assists).

Mane's nine goals across all competitions may not be groundbreaking, but it is only one shy of Raheem Sterling and two fewer than Aguero.

He has proven to be a vital creator for the Reds as well, laying on 29 chances for team-mates, six more than Firmino and eight better than Salah.

It is also worth pointing out Mane's 20.9 per cent conversion rate, as that too is significantly better than those posted by Salah (7.9 per cent) and Firmino (13.2 per cent).

Mane out to make a splash

Mane's reply to Guardiola after Liverpool's Champions League win over Genk suggested he is handling the situation rather comfortably.

Not only did he admit he would do what he did against Villa – what he considered to not be a dive – again, he insisted Guardiola's comments won't change him.

Given he has established himself as Liverpool's chief attacking threat, that'll be music to the ears of Klopp as he prepares his side to potentially go nine points clear at the Premier League summit.

Klopp will hope Mane can make a splash of the right kind against the champions at Anfield.

Cristiano Ronaldo is chasing another slice of history when Juventus travel to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Tottenham, meanwhile, will hope Harry Kane can continue his wonderful form in the competition against Red Star Belgrade, while Manchester City take on Atalanta at San Siro.

Elsewhere, Kylian Mbappe will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Club Brugge again after he plundered a hat-trick against them two weeks ago.

Here is the pick of the key Opta facts for Wednesday's eight matches.

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Club Brugge

4 - PSG forward Mbappe scored a hat-trick as a substitute against Brugge on matchday three, becoming only the fourth player to achieve the feat in the Champions League. In three games against Belgian opposition, Mbappe averages a goal or assist every 28 minutes.

2 - Emmanuel Dennis scored both of Brugge's goals in their previous Champions League away game against Real Madrid. No player has ever found the net in consecutive matches on the road for the Belgian side in the competition.

Real Madrid v Galatasaray

50 - Karim Benzema is just two Champions League goals short of his 50th for Madrid, with only Lionel Messi (113 for Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (105 for Madrid) and Raul (66 for Madrid) reaching the milestone for a single side. However, Benzema is without a goal in his past four matches in the competition, despite attempting 16 shots across those games.

5 - Galatasaray have failed to score in their past five away Champions League matches, despite attempting 45 shots in that timeframe. The last team to fail to score in six away games in a row were Schalke in November 2010.

Bayern Munich v Olympiacos

13 - Bayern have scored 13 goals after just three Champions League games this season. The only team with more after three games are Arsenal in 2010-11 (14 goals).

10 - Olympiacos have managed just 10 shots on target across their opening three Champions League matches this term – one fewer than Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has attempted.

Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham

6 - Red Star's Marko Marin made six chances in their 5-0 defeat against Spurs on matchday three. No player has created more in the Champions League this season (13, level with Toni Kroos).

18 - Spurs striker Kane has scored 18 goals in just 22 Champions League appearances, including four in three appearances this season. In the history of the competition, the fewest number of matches needed to reach 20 goals is 26, set by Alessandro Del Piero in April 1998.

Atalanta v Manchester City

11 - Atalanta have conceded more Champions League goals than any other team this season (11). Only two teams have conceded more in their first three Champions League games – Slavia Prague (12) and Helsingborgs (13).

5 - Sergio Aguero has found the net in each of his past five away Champions League group stage matches for City (five goals), a run stretching back to September 2017.

Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk

45 - Dinamo's Mislav Orsic is averaging a goal or assist every 45 minutes in the Champions League this season, scoring four and assisting one in just 227 minutes of action. Should Orsic notch in this game, he would have reached five goals in just four appearances, with only Erling Haaland and Didier Drogba having done so in fewer games (three).

22 - Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov has not kept a clean sheet in any of his past 22 Champions League starts. The last goalkeeper to go on a longer such run in the competition was Igor Akinfeev (43) between November 2006 and October 2017.

Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid

3 - Leverkusen are one of two clubs to lose their three Champions League games this season, along with Atalanta. They are the first German side to lose their opening three group stage matches since Stuttgart in 2007-08.

3 - Atletico have won three Champions League games against Bayer Leverkusen; they have only won more against PSV (four).

Lokomotiv Moscow v Juventus

9 - Lokomotiv striker Eder has been on the losing side in his each of his past nine Champions League starts, dating back to October 2012 for Braga. The last player to lose on 10 consecutive starts in the competition was Junior Fernandes (11) for Dinamo Zagreb, a run that ended in December 2016.

33 - Ronaldo had eight shots without scoring in Juve's 2-1 win over Lokomotiv on matchday three. Should he score in this match, he would break the record for opponents scored against in the Champions League, with Ronaldo currently level on 33 with Raul and Messi.

Sergio Aguero believes the Premier League will again be a two-team title race this season as Manchester City seek to overhaul leaders Liverpool.

City pipped the Reds to top spot last term but now trail Jurgen Klopp's men by six points in their bid to go three in a row.

The deficit will be halved as soon as Sunday if the champions prevail in a top-of-the-table encounter at Anfield.

But defeat could leave them behind Chelsea and Leicester City, who are two points further back, by the end of the weekend.

Despite the form of the teams below, star striker Aguero expects the challenge to come solely from Merseyside.

"Liverpool has always been a tough opponent," Aguero told France Football.

"But when I arrived, the team we were fighting for the title was [Manchester] United. Initially, it was something strange in the city that City competes against United. Then there was Chelsea.

"But these last four seasons, Liverpool have become a very strong team and are now fighting with us to win the Premier League.

"It's the only team in the league that can hurt us. They have been chasing a new league [title] for years. Last season, they didn't go all the way, so they are very motivated. This year, they are in front of us and will try to go to the end."

Argentina international Aguero knows plenty about winning the Premier League, with his name forever etched in City history as the scorer of the dramatic goal that delivered the title in 2011-12.

He claimed another winners' medal in 2013-14 and has been at the forefront of the club's sustained excellence over the previous two title-winning seasons, scoring 42 Premier League goals in that time.

Aguero did not always seem to fit under Pep Guardiola but the 31-year-old insists the pair now share a strong understanding.

"We have come to know each other since his arrival and everything is clear between us," he said.

"I know how he is and vice versa. When he picks me, I try to do the best possible, because I know that behind me I have Gabriel Jesus, an attacker who scores goals whenever he has the opportunity to be on the field."

Manchester City kept pace with Premier League leaders Liverpool after Kyle Walker struck late on to give them a 2-1 victory over Southampton on Saturday.

A goalkeeping blunder by Ederson allowed James Ward-Prowse to give Southampton a surprise 13th-minute lead at Etihad Stadium.

City initially struggled to break down a resolute Southampton defence before Sergio Aguero eventually equalised when he fired past goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

However, Walker latched on to Angelino's cross to slide the ball home and secure a win that means the champions remain six points behind Liverpool.

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