Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City forward Nolito admits he has been happy with Pep Guardiola’s rotation policy as he eyes a return to the team to face Leicester City.
Guardiola’s side face the defending champions at the King Power Stadium with the City manager forced to make at least one enforced change to his starting line-up.
Argentina striker Sergio Aguero, who was shown a red card for a reckless challenge on Chelsea’s David Luiz last time out, is set to miss four matches through suspension.
Nolito is eager to start ahead of striker Kelechi Iheanacho but revealed that even if he is left on the bench he will accept Guardiola’s decision.
“Coming to a team like this I knew how difficult it would be to play in such a competitive team, with very good players,” said Spain international Nolito.
“The manager is rotating — sometimes he plays one player, another time he’ll play another — and honestly, right now, I’m very happy.
“From a selfish standpoint, of course I would like to play in every game but in the end, all the Premier League and Champions League matches are demanding, very physical, and the coach is doing well to rotate the squad.
“The manager is the one who decides and I’ll be ready for him when he needs me.”
Guardiola remains optimistic that Raheem Sterling will be fit for Saturday’s trip to the East Midlands to face Claudio Ranieri’s side.
The England winger has missed City’s last two matches with a knee problem and Leroy Sane has deputised in the absence.
“He’s much better. He was not ready for the Champions League game against Celtic,” Guardiola said. “Hopefully he will be ready for Leicester.”
Leicester return to Premier League action on the back of Wednesday’s 5-0 humiliation in the Champions League at the hands of Porto.
The Foxes sit just two points outside the relegation zone and Ranieri is expected to revert to his regular domestic line-up after making 10 changes in Portugal and accusing his second-string side of shaming the club.
Fans applauded the players when they arrived back at the airport from Oporto but Leicester manager Ranieri was far from impressed.
“For me it was a shame, believe me,” said the Italian. “Our fans are happy when they see the players are fighting.
“They clapped us at the airport because they thought ‘we are top of the group’ but I was very sad because it was a shame, a big shame.
“Not for five goals, because last season we conceded five goals when we lost here 5-2 against Arsenal, but we created a lot of chances.
“I want players to play for the team, to be strong, to fight and to be competitive — I want no more. If you lose this how can you win?
“Not even the big players can win without fight. That is football.
“Last season we won because some big teams didn’t fight as well as us and now we want that back, not to win the title but to defend the title and not be in the relegation zone.
“I forgot from the beginning of the season what happened before but now it’s important that the players forgot what they did. It’s finished. This is a new era.”
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel could return to face his former club, although Tuesday’s trip to Bournemouth was a more likely return date.
The Denmark international has missed Leicester’s last six games with a fractured hand.
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