Guardiola hoping De Bruyne can kick-on

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The proximity of Tuesday's Uefa Champions League clash with Tottenham Hotspur and a fixture list that pits City with Spurs three times in April, even before a Manchester derby and then May's potential Champions League semi-final, means rotation will be required.

The FIFA U17 World Cup victor produced a magnificent display in the 2-0 win over Cardiff City as they moved back to the summit of the league table.

Pep Guardiola has said he will not take a risk with Sergio Agüero's fitness against Brighton after the striker suffered a muscle injury at Fulham. The difference is we're in a better position in the FA Cup'. We live all together and these kind of gestures dignify who he is, the club and everybody.

One of those, Sergio Aguero, will be assessed on Saturday morning to determine whether he is fit enough.

"It happened in Germany, I went there the year after Jupp Heynckes got it".

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"I'm quite curious about the teams that achieved something good, for the reason why and what they have done", said Guardiola, who won a Treble with Barcelona in the 2008-08 season.

"People are not talking about Chelsea for the top four and I like that", said the Belgium forward.

Asked if he could return to his best before the end of the campaign, De Bruyne added: "No, probably not - not compared with past year. I want to play at my best level but I won't compare myself to previous year when I played 70 games and was on such a roll". I don't know what my level is going to be but to be fair I don't really care.

The Belgian midfielder has had to be patient this season after suffering a number of injuries. "We like this challenge so we will go to these teams and try to win because, at the end, we want top four". A lot of the time you're alone [in the gym] but you have to do it. The 18-year-old had to wait until Wednesday's 3-0 win over Brighton for his first Premier League start despite encouraging performances in the cup and his recent selection for England.

"If that is the case I'm sure he's not going to play". You can not achieve important titles without important players saying: 'Guys, I'm here.' Fortunately the managers don't play - it's a moment for the players'.

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