Pep Guardiola: Tottenham game now most important of season for Manchester City

MANCHESTER, England -- Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's trip to Tottenham Hotspur is now the most important game of the season but he will again be without striker Sergio Aguero.

City, who have lost their three matches, were knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool and missed an opportunity to win the Premier League title against rivals Manchester United.

Guardiola said it's crucial to get back to winning ways quickly, with six points needed to secure the title, but he will be without Aguero, who injured a knee after he was caught by a strong challenge by Ashley Young in the derby defeat.

Aguero came on as a second half substitute in the second leg defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday but has not started a game in six weeks, and Guardiola is unsure when he will be fit again this season.

"He was injured before the [Liverpool] game but made a huge effort to help us for 10 to 15 minutes," Guardiola said. "That's why he could not play from the beginning.

Guardiola, who said that City have 14 players available "plus the kids" for the clash with Tottenham, does not know when Aguero will pass fit.

"He made a huge effort because after the action from Ashley Young against United, his problems in the knee, he could not train," Guardiola said.

"He played the last 10 to 15 minutes and after the game he said he couldn't run and had a lot of pain. I don't know about Swansea if he will be ready, so hopefully for the last games if we need him and then for the World Cup."

City is also without midfielder Fernandinho, who is suspended, and John Stones is still out with a thigh injury.

Guardiola said his side need to put their disastrous run of losses behind them despite still holding a 13-point lead at the top of the table with six games remaining.

"We tried to reach the semifinals [of the Champions League], to win the Premier League," Guardiola said. "They are human beings and they are disappointed because they gave it everything.

"But we have to stand up. Now we have in front of us the most important title in the season by far. We need five points from six games and our first chance is [Saturday] in one of the toughest games."

"They are magnificent players and I'm sad -- we all are sad -- because we are out of the Champions League, but I have to judge the way we did it. They know when I am angry and I am not happy with what they are doing.

"Apart from Bayern Munich, the three teams in the semifinals of the Champions League -- Roma is 20 points behind Juventus, Liverpool is 17 points behind us plus one more game, Real Madrid is 15 points behind Barcelona.

"Whatever happens this season, winning or losing, [credit] to my players -- they deserve all my respect especially in the tough moments."