Manchester City's Raheem Sterling a doubt for Carabao Cup final
MANCHESTER, England -- Raheem Sterling is a doubt for the Carabao Cup final against Arsenal after picking up a muscle injury.
The City winger missed the shock FA Cup defeat to Wigan Athletic on Monday night after picking up the injury during last week's Champions League win.
Pep Guardiola, who is hoping to win his first trophy as the City manager, told a news conference: "Raheem had a muscle problem, I don't know if he will be ready for Sunday. He had a problem in the game against Basel."
Fabian Delph will definitely miss the final through suspension after his controversial red card at Wigan.
But Gabriel Jesus could potentially return for the Wembley final after missing the last seven weeks with a knee ligament injury. The Brazilian striker has returned to full training with the first team and Guardiola says he will offer another key option.
"We'll see tomorrow, he made a third training session with the team so every day he is better," Guardiola said. "He's so important. When people say about four titles, when it has never happened before, you have to have everything going well.
"When have a full-back out injured for six months, it's more difficult. It's the same for the strikers, without Gabriel and now Raz, when you play every three days it's so difficult.
"Sergio has been incredible for that period but it can be too much and sometimes you need to be fresh. That's why it's so important that he's coming back and sometimes we can play with two strikers.
"For example, at Wigan in the last minute if we had Gabriel on the bench we could have played him with Sergio."
A victory over Arsenal would see Guardiola win his first trophy as City boss in his second season. Last year he failed to win silverware in his debut season with a club for the first time in his career.
But he warned against talk that it could herald a new era of dominance similar to the ones he enjoyed in Spain with Barcelona and in Germany with Bayern Munich.
"I think in football it's a big mistake to think what might happen in the next three years. It's a big mistake for our heads, our targets -- it makes no sense," added Guardiola, who has won nine of 10 knockout finals as a coach.
"When people asked in the beginning, about winning four titles, I said of course we'll try, but the big teams have not been able to do that -- the big Liverpools, the big Uniteds, the big Arsenals, the big Chelseas. So why should i think we can do it? We have a final and we try to do what we have done.
"Then after in the Premier League we have six games to be champions in the most prestigious tournament in this country. Then we'll see next year. Then at the end of our time together we will see what we have done."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.