Manchester City will miss the services of Sergio Aguero in the Manchester derby after the Argentine was handed a 3-game ban.
Aguero was punished retrospectively by the Football Association after television cameras caught him elbowing West Ham defender Winston Reid during City’s Premier League victory at Eastlands last weekend.
Referee Andre Marriner had missed the incident and City denied the charge, but the FA found Aguero guilty and his suspension will start on September 10 when Pep Guardiola’s side visit Old Trafford for the Manchester derby.
Aguero will also miss City’s home league clash with Bournemouth on September 17 and an English Football League Cup tie at Swansea four days later.
“Sergio Aguero will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after an FA charge of violent conduct against him was found proven,” an FA statement read.
“The Manchester City forward was involved in a 76th-minute incident with West Ham United’s Winston Reid on Sunday (28 August 2016), which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.
“The club denied the charge and submitted further that, if it was to be found proven, the standard punishment would be clearly excessive.
“On finding the charge proven at a hearing today (Friday 2 September 2016), an Independent Regulatory Commission went on to reject the club’s further claim to decrease the three-match ban.”
Losing Aguero is a major blow for Guardiola as he looks to maintain City’s 100 percent winning start to the season.
Aguero, who is not playing in Argentina’s World Cup qualifying double-header against Uruguay and Venezuela due to a calf injury, has made a superb start to the season, scoring six times in his first four appearances, including a hat-trick in a Champions League play-off win at Steaua Bucharest.
Speaking about the incident following the West Ham match, Guardiola said he wouldn’t complain if Aguero was banned.
“I didn’t see so I cannot comment,” Guardiola said of the clash.
“Hopefully nothing happens. If it happens, we accept and adapt and we will try our best.”
The 28-year-old has scored eight goals in his nine appearances against United, who like City have made a flying start to the Premier League season with three successive victories.
City are top of the table, while United are in third place.
The Manchester derby marks the renewal of one of the more bitter managerial rivals of recent years as Guardiola goes up against Jose Mourinho.
United manager Mourinho was involved in a series of spats with Guardiola when he was at Real Madrid and his rival was in charge of Barcelona.