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Dublin: 1 °C Monday 18 November, 2019

Man City's Jesus in line for early return in FA Cup semi-final

Pep Guardiola will be without John Stones for Sunday’s FA Cup Semi-Final against Arsenal, but Gabriel Jesus will travel with the squad.

Gabriel Jesus celebrates a goal for Manchester City
Gabriel Jesus celebrates a goal for Manchester City

GABRIEL JESUS COULD make an early return from a foot injury for Manchester City, in their FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal this Sunday.

Jesus needed surgery after fracturing a metatarsal against Bournemouth in February, but the Brazilian striker has recovered faster than expected after missing the last two months of action.

Pep Guardiola confirmed the 20-year-old, who has scored three goals in his first five appearances for City, has a chance of being selected at Wembley.

“[He is] much, much better, today he made part of training with us,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday. ”He is coming back with his happiness - and we are so happy.

“We are going to travel, all the group, to Wembley, he will be part of that and after that we’ll see.

“The impact of Gabriel is shown by how difficult it is to come to the Premier League and have the effect he did. He had all of Europe in his hands and he decided to come here, we cannot forget that.

“That’s why we are so happy that hopefully he can help us, along with Sergio [Aguero] and the others before end of season.”

John Stones will miss the semi-final with a muscle injury, Guardiola added, but Vincent Kompany is expected to be available.

“He’s not fit,” Guardiola said of Stones. “He had a muscular problem one day in training. He’s out for Wembley.

“Maybe he is coming back for [Thursday's Premier League game against] Manchester United but I don’t know right now.”

Guardiola is hunting for his first trophy in English football and the Catalan said winning the FA Cup would be a boost to his team’s belief.

“I would like to win the FA Cup to prove to my players in their heads how good they are,” Guardiola added. “I said many times to them. They are fantastic players and a fantastic team and winning titles helps you a lot.

“You realise you have lived that experience and when you win a title or a final it is a lot of stress and pressure. When you handle that and are able to win, the next time will be a little bit easier. That’s why it is important for the club.”

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