Guardiola confirms Sergio Aguero will miss the Manchester derby

Jonjo Shelvey celebrates scoring their second goal

Laporte has been absent since suffering a serious knee injury in the win over Brighton in August, the 25-year-old's extended spell on the sidelines leaving Pep Guardiola's defensive options depleted.

Pep Guardiola insists he is happy with the performances of his Manchester City defence as he defended his decision to persist with midfielder Fernandinho at centre-back.

The Brazilian has featured alongside Stones more often than not, with Otamendi restricted to just seven Premier League starts in total so far this season.

The Argentine striker will miss Tuesday's clash and also Saturday's visit of neighbours Manchester United, Guardiola confirmed at his pre-match press conference on Monday.

Asked about the midfield, he added: "I prefer (Ilkay) Gundogan and Rodri in this position".

The Spanish boss went on to express his belief that wasteful finishing has been his side's main issue in recent weeks, most notably during a 2-2 draw against Newcastle at St James' Park on Saturday.

"We try to have the chances that we have and concede few, to be more solid in this department and improve". "To do that away is incredible".

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"Last year was quite similar when [Liverpool] had a similar lead, but we still have time this year to recover, catch and try again to win the Premier League, so we hope we can do that. We did it again but unfortunately, we couldn't win".

"They have to believe we win tomorrow", he said.

City can not afford to lose any more ground on Liverpool as they pursue a third successive Premier League crown, with Manchester United set to arrive at Etihad Stadium four days after their clash at Burnley.

Guardiola is not surprised that it is not just his team and Liverpool in the mix for the title this season.

"We can't think too much about the people in front".

"Last season when we were here, we were not talking about the Premier League and how many games you have to win".

"They were better than the other ones, we played good, especially in the second half".

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