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Pep Guardiola makes double Manchester City team news decision ahead of Luton Town FA Cup tie



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola faces a double decision on the fitness of both Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne ahead of Tuesday’s FA Cup clash.

The treble-winners continue their Emirates FA Cup defence at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday evening, as Manchester City travel to Luton Town looking to further extend their current unbeaten streak and reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

Pep Guardiola’s side have already overcome both Huddersfield Town and Tottenham to reach the fifth round, with Nathan Ake’s late strike against Spurs in north London last month setting up a tie against the Hatters.

Manchester City haven’t faced Luton in the FA Cup since 1969, although the Sky Blues did beat Rob Edwards’ side in the Premier League in December, after second-half goals from both Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish.

A fifth round defeat to Wigan in 2018 is the only time Guardiola has failed to reach the quarter-finals with City, and the Catalonian will be eying another trip to Wembley Stadium, where the UEFA Champions League Final is also being staged this season.

Tuesday’s tie comes prior to major Premier League clashes with both Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as a UEFA Champions League last-16 second-leg meeting with FC Copenhagen at the Etihad Stadium next week.

Guardiola therefore faces a team selection dilemma amid recent fitness concerns regarding both Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne.

Grealish returned to the matchday squad for Saturday’s win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, meanwhile De Bruyne featured against the Cherries after not starting against Brentford at the Etihad Stadium due to hamstring concerns.

The severity of De Bruyne’s hamstring issue has been played down by Guardiola, with the 53-year-old discussing the Belgian’s fitness ahead of Tuesday’s FA Cup tie.

“Yeah. (A little bit of a concern?),” said Guardiola.

“A muscular, five-month injury and we start to make minutes and minutes in the first two or three games and starts to play two, I don’t know exactly, from the beginning.

“And after he made a little, little setback of ‘niggles’ and said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable, a knock, and I have something in muscular’. And that’s why.

“And the game we played against Bournemouth, for the way they play, I decided for him to maybe stay on the bench and go in the second-half. And we’ll see tomorrow (against Luton). But he’s fine.”

Grealish, who suffered a groin injury against FC Copenhagen earlier this month, could however be in contention to start against Luton, Guardiola revealed.

“Yeah, it’s possible. Normally when we play Saturday to Tuesday, with the demanding schedule in the past, I don’t decide the line-up and everything and I’ll see in today’s training; eyes, talking a little bit with them, the feeling to line-up.

“Since then I don’t take a decision, never ever.”