'Huge competitor' David Silva can still put family first, says Pep Guardiola


As the struggle for the Premier League enters its closing stages, lowly Stoke City host runaway leaders Manchester City at the Bet365 Stadium on Tuesday. Silva has made several visits to Spain to be with his son Mateo, who was left fighting for his life in a Valencia hospital after being born prematurely in December. Following the game they have a fortnight off, part of which they will spend warm-weather training in Abu Dhabi, although Silva will be granted more time in Spain.

"After we go to train in Abu Dhabi and after the worldwide break hopefully the players will come back safe without injuries and then we can think about Everton and the (Champions League) quarter-finals".

"He wants to be here but sometimes he needs to go back and see his son - he's doing well - and his wife. He has to go there", said Guardiola. Of course, for the game against Basel, he chose to go to Valencia.

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A lot of the stewards on duty are stadium people and sometimes haven't had any experience of dealing with football crowds. Asked how the side can now prepare for the next home game, against Southampton on March 31, Noble said: "I don't know".

"What has happened has happened". "The most important thing after six months out is to be careful", Guardiola said. "Hopefully he can sort it as soon as possible, his lovely kid can grow and grow and he can stay with us".

Benjamin Mendy has also returned to training after his cruciate knee ligament injury but Guardiola says they must be careful with his return.

City will also be keen to bounce back from just a fourth defeat of the season in all competitions when they let slip an early lead to lose 2-1 to Basel on Tuesday.

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After an underwhelming Champions League performance against Basel at the Etihad, Manchester City travel to Stoke City to face an opponent against which they've recently had a lot of success.

Aguero's injury is not as big a setback as it could have been, given that City do not play again for almost three weeks following tonight's match.

Aguero underwent a medical evaluation after feeling discomfort in his knee during training, forcing the City striker to be sidelined for approximately two weeks.

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Again, I keep going back to Stoke's awful recent record against the big clubs and if they are going to lose this game by two or three, possibly more, then it's likely that Guardiola's men will score early.