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Pep Guardiola provides damning Jack Grealish fitness verdict ahead of Manchester United and Liverpool fixtures



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has issued a concerning update regarding the fitness of forward Jack Grealish.

The treble-winners host local rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon ahead of a defining month of Premier League fixtures, with matches against title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal also scheduled.

Manchester City are bidding to win a record-breaking fourth successive Premier League title but are currently amidst a major three-team battle, with just two points separating Liverpool, City and Arsenal.

Pep Guardiola’s side travel to Anfield next week but face a key derby clash with Manchester United this weekend, with the Sky Blues currently unbeaten in 18 matches across all competitions.

City, who have won five of the last six Manchester derby’s, thrashed Luton Town 6-2 on Tuesday evening in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup, with Erling Haaland spectacularly scoring five goals.

The cup clash at Kenilworth Road also provided a return from injury for Jack Grealish, as the 28-year-old made his first start since suffering a groin problem against FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League last month.

Grealish, who featured in 50 matches during the Blues’ treble-winning campaign last season, suffered a fresh injury setback against the Hatters in midweek, as the Englishman was forced off midway through the first-half.

The forward is now set for another period on the sidelines and is a doubt for Manchester City’s key upcoming matches in both the Premier League and FA Cup quarter-finals.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s meeting with United, Guardiola revealed that Grealish is unlikely to return before the upcoming international break, ruling the England international out of four upcoming fixtures.

“No, I don’t think so. He has to recover well to use him as much as possible. I didn’t speak to Gareth (Southgate),” replied Guardiola.

“He will not be fit this weekend. When he comes back, I don’t know. Setbacks are always there in life, he will overcome it.”

As well as crucial Premier League matches, City face Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter-finals this month and also host FC Copenhagen on Tuesday evening in the Champions League last-16 second-leg.

City will take a 3-1 aggregate lead into the fixture, with the Sky Blue looking to qualify for the last eight of the European competition.