Gabriel Jesus could start Manchester City’s FA Cup semifinal vs Arsenal

Pep Guardiola is thrilled with the possibility of Gabriel Jesus making his return from injury and featuring in the FA Cup.
Manchester City’s Fernandinho believes that the FA Cup hasn’t lost its romance.

MANCHESTER — Gabriel Jesus is in contention to start Manchester City’s FA Cup semifinal with Arsenal on Sunday.

The Brazilian striker will travel to Wembley with the first-team squad after recovering from a broken metatarsal in his right foot picked up two months ago.

However, defender John Stones will miss the game with a muscle problem although City boss Pep Guardiola is hopeful he could be back fit for next Thursday’s Manchester derby.

Gabriel has been in full training with the first team and Guardiola hasn’t ruled him out of going straight back into his starting lineup.

“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,” he told a news conference.

“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.

“All the squad are travelling down tomorrow and we will watch the match between Tottenham and Chelsea. After dinner I will decide the team.”

Guardiola said it will be a huge bonus to have to the 20-year-old back in his squad after he made a big impact following his arrival from Palmeiras in January.

Gabriel made a big impression as an 82nd-minute substitute against Spurs and went onto start the next four games, scoring three times including a last-minute winner against Swansea City.

Gabriel Jesus made a big impression upon joining Manchester City in January.

“The impact for Gabriel is how difficult it is to come into the Premier League and immediately play how he played,” he said.

“Just 10 minutes against Tottenham, we created two or three chances himself. And the Swansea, the last goal, his mentality. I’m happy he’s coming back. He had all Europe in his hands and he chose to come here to join us.”

The blow of losing Stones is offset by a return to fitness of captain Vincent Kompany, who impressed in last Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Southampton.

“[Stones] has a muscular injury. It happened one day in a training session,” Guardiola added. “Maybe he comes back for United, but I don’t know.”

The FA Cup represents Guardiola’s first opportunity to lift a trophy in his debut season and the Spaniard is desperate to win and to introduce a winning mentality around his squad.

“We want the FA Cup to put in my players’ heads how good they are,” he added. “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…

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