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Pep Guardiola and Erling Haaland handed major Jack Grealish fitness boost ahead of Premier League run-in



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Jack Grealish was named on Manchester City’s bench against Bournemouth on Saturday evening after an early return from the sidelines.

The 28-year-old was hauled off early on in the first leg of City’s Champions League Round of 16 tie against FC Copenhagen last week, with Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden on the scoresheet for the holders.

After starring in City’s historic, treble-winning campaign last term, Grealish has been in and out of Guardiola’s starting XI following the summer signing of Jeremy Doku and the form showed by the likes of Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez in attack.

However, the England attacker has often been the man for the big occasion for the Premier League champions and started in their Round of 16 opening leg in Denmark last week – only to come off with a groin injury in the first half.

The former Aston Villa skipper has since missed City’s recent games against Brentford and Chelsea but returned to training ahead of the Blues’ narrow win against Bournemouth at Dean Court.

Speaking prior to City’s 1-0 triumph against the Cherries, Guardiola told Sky Sports: “Yesterday, (Grealish) asked to train, (the) doctors said he was better. A little bit surprised because at the press conference, I didn’t expect (Grealish to be involved). It’s important he’s back.”

Grealish’s return offers City a new outlet altogether on the left wing in contrast to Doku and Foden, who has been one of Guardiola’s most crucial fixtures in attack since the start of the season.

In the event of a swift recovery, the £100 million man could very well be fully fit for the Manchester derby on 3rd March as Manchester City look to win their fourth straight Premier League title and go all the way in Europe again this season.