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Sunderland vs. Manchester City: Pep Guardiola's Key Pre-Match Presser Comments

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2017

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 01:  Josep Guardiola manager of Manchester City throws the ball during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round Replay match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at Etihad Stadium on March 1, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola refused to address speculation regarding the future of Sergio Aguero during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Premier League clash with Sunderland.

He also told reporters he hopes Vincent Kompany will be fit enough to play a major role in the last months of the season. 

Gabriel Jesus' fast start to his City career led to plenty of rumours regarding the future of Aguero, and even after the Brazilian's injury, the speculation hasn't died down. Guardiola was once again asked about his star striker on Friday, and he quickly shot down the question, per City's official Twitter account:

Manchester City @ManCity

#PEP: I spoke ten times about this, you know my opinion. I cannot answer at every press conference about Aguero, He is so happy, so are we. https://t.co/kaxBZbAIza

As shared by James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, the former Barcelona boss was visibly frustrated by the question:

James Robson @JamesRobsonMEN

Pep's irritated response to latest Aguero question #mcfc https://t.co/7dhAG7Mlzk

City will visit Sunderland on Sunday and are expected to cruise to an easy win against the last-placed team. The Sky Blues have been in fine form of late and enter the match with momentum on their side, while the Black Cats have struggled for some time.

John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi are expected to start for the Citizens, although Kompany could be fit enough to make the starting XI. As shared by Andy Hampson of the Press Association, Guardiola is counting on the Belgium international:

Andy Hampson @andyhampson

Guardiola on Kompany: It mustn't be easy for Vincent. Hopefully he will be able to help us in the last two months of the season #mcfc

While City are clear favourites for Sunday's match, Guardiola will not underestimate their opponents:

Manchester City @ManCity

#PEP: It doesn’t matter where they are in the table, People can think we should win - but every game will be so difficult and so complicated

While the Premier League title race appears to be over, with Chelsea sporting a huge lead, the Citizens have plenty left to fight for. A top-four finish in the Premier League is vital, and the return leg against AS Monaco in the UEFA Champions League will be just as important.

Guardiola already has one eye on next season, however, and he told reporters he hopes the learning experiences of the 2016-17 campaign will serve them well:

Manchester City @ManCity

#PEP: Every game is a game to learn and improve. I know the players better, they know me better. Hopefully next season we are a better team.

Unsurprisingly, Guardiola was asked about Barcelona's hunt for a new manager for next season, as the Spaniard knows his former club like few do. Sevilla's Jorge Sampaoli is among the favourites to win the job, and the City manager is a fan:

Manchester City @ManCity

#PEP: (Sampoali for Barca?) I can say he is a great manager. He has shown everyone.

Sunderland have struggled this season, but the Black Cats have kept the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool to draws at the Stadium of Light and are as motivated as ever. Manager David Moyes and his troops are growing desperate, and they're not expected to hold back one bit on Sunday.

City have momentum on their side, but they can't afford to drop results against the Premier League's bottom feeders at this stage of the season, especially with the return leg against Monaco on the horizon.

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