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Two Manchester City stars ruled out of Chelsea clash with further name subject to late fitness test



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Pep Guardiola has confirmed that two members of his first-team squad will be ruled out of action for Manchester City against Chelsea this weekend.

Manchester City host Mauricio Pochettino’s side knowing that they are two successive wins from moving into the position of outright Premier League leaders, with a game in hand against Brentford coming next week.

City are currently on a run of 11 successive wins across all competitions, stretching back to the start of their FIFA Club World Cup campaign in late December, and have been boosted by the returning Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne from injury.

However, Guardiola and his coaching staff have been hit by a fresh wave of fitness concerns this week following training ground injuries and problems sustained in first-team action in European competition.

Speaking to the media during his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon, Pep Guardiola offered a comprehensive update on the fitness and injury situation hanging over his first-team squad ahead of the weekend’s clash.

Following earlier reports concerning his injury timeframe, Guardiola confirmed that Jack Grealish will be ruled out for the weekend despite being unsure of his rehabilitation period, with the forward joining Josko Gvardiol on the sidelines.

It has been reported that Grealish is likely to be ruled out for between two to three weeks after sustaining a groin problem during the 1-3 win against Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League, but could return in time for England’s matches next month.

Elsewhere, Bernardo Silva will be subject to a late fitness assessment during first-team training on Friday afternoon following a heavy knock to his ankle in Copenhagen on Tuesday night, while Mateo Kovacic and Sergio Gomez have returned to City training.

City’s latest injury problems come at a time when the club are bracing themselves for a run of challenging fixtures across multiple competitions, with the intensity of the campaign having stepped up from a relatively subdued January schedule.

Pep Guardiola’s holders travel to Luton Town later this month to take on Rob Edwards’ side at Kenilworth Road in the fifth round of the FA Cup, while Premier League meetings with Manchester United and Liverpool are also on the horizon.

City will however feel confident going into their UEFA Champions League last-16 second-leg having picked up a 1-3 win on the road at Parken on Tuesday night, courtesy of goals from Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, and Phil Foden.