Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus set to return from injury against Arsenal

Gabriel Jesus could make a dramatic return for Manchester City in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

The Brazil striker has been out for the past two months after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot.

Manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed the 20-year-old will travel to London with the squad and is in contention to play, perhaps even to start.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: "He's really, really much, much better.

"Today he will take part in training with us. He's coming back with his happiness and we are so happy he's back again.

"We are going to travel with all the squad to Wembley, all the group, and he will be part of that. After that, we will see.

"We will watch the match between Tottenham and Chelsea and after dinner I will decide the team."

Asked if he had ruled out a starting spot for Jesus, Guardiola said: "No."

Jesus made a big impression after joining City from Palmeiras in January, scoring three goals in five appearances and briefly displacing the prolific Sergio Aguero from the team.

Guardiola said: "He has made an impact. You know how difficult it is to come into the Premier League and play how we play but in just 10 minutes against Tottenham he created two or three chances himself and scored (a goal which was disallowed).

"In any case when players are injured I am happy they are coming back - especially for him.

"He had all Europe in his hands and he decided to come here and join us. We can't forget that.

"I am so happy he joined us here but then he could only play two or three weeks, so that is why I am so happy.

"With Sergio and the other ones, hopefully he will help us score goals until the end of the season."

On the downside for City, defender John Stones has been ruled out with the injury that prevented him from featuring in last week's Premier League victory at Southampton.

The England international could also be doubtful for Thursday's derby against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium, a match critical to both sides' hopes of Champions League qualification.

Guardiola said: "The problem is muscular, (it happened) one day in a training session. He is out for Wembley. Maybe he will come back for United but I don't know right now."

Securing a top-four place is vital to City's ambitions but the FA Cup, the club's only remaining hope of silverware this season, also plays a big part in Guardiola's thinking.

The Spaniard, who never finished a season in charge of Barcelona or Bayern Munich empty-handed, believes winning a trophy is important to the development of his squad.

He said: "We want the FA Cup to put in my players' heads how good they are.

"I said many times to them, but they still don't believe how good they are. They are fantastic players and a fantastic team and winning titles helps you a lot.

"Winning helps you win more because you live that experience, you win a title or a final, it's a lot of stress, a lot of pressure and if you handle that and you are able to win, the next time is a little easier.

"That's why it's important for the future of the club."

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