Guardiola explains decision to drop Aguero for Man City vs Real Madrid

Pep Guardiola has explained his team selection after dropping Sergio Aguero to the bench for Man City's first leg clash with Real Madrid .

City are embarking on what could be Aguero's final chance to win the Champions League with the club, while they wait to hear the verdict of their appeal against a UEFA ban.

But Guardiola has not called upon the prolific frontman for the opening leg of the last-16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu, instead picking Gabriel Jesus to lead the line in attack.

First-team regulars Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Fernandinho have also been benched for the encounter in a shock move by Guardiola.

The Man City boss labelled Madrid the "Kings of Europe" in midweek, but has chosen a side few were expecting.

Aguero missed a penalty in City's win over Leicester on Saturday, and was substituted soon after, while Jesus grabbed the winner.

Asked by BT Sport whether Jesus' starting berth was a reward for his goal, Guardiola replied: "No. I decide for him like I decide for Sergio, like I decide to change something during the game, and that's all."

Injury problems have forced Guardiola's hand in the cases of Serling and Fernandinho, who he admitted were both not fit enough to start.

"Fernandinho is just not in the top condition," Guardiola added. "[Sterling] couldn't play the beginning, 90 minutes I don't know."

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