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Pep Guardiola confirms first-team absence for Copenhagen clash with selection decision on hold until Wednesday



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Manchester City will have to secure qualification for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals without one major name in their attacking set-up.

That has been confirmed by Pep Guardiola whilst addressing the media during his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of FC Copenhagen to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Manchester City manager will be working towards an unprecedented double Treble this season, but knows that rest and rotation will be imperative to any success, whilst balancing such decisions with injury problems.

Copenhagen’s visit to the north-west of England comes before Manchester City’s mammoth clash against Liverpool at Anfield later this week, and Guardiola will likely have to take on both fixtures without one key name in his attack.

As per confirmation from the City boss on Tuesday afternoon, Jack Grealish will be unavailable for the visit of Copenhagen this week following an aggravation of a groin injury during the FA Cup fifth round win at Luton Town last week.

“I don’t know how long he will be (ruled out for),” Guardiola continued, in what will be a worrying sign ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League title showdown with Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

But how will the City boss approach the game against Copenhagen, given the other task on the horizon and the champions of Europe’s 3-1 advantage taken from the first-leg in the Danish capital last month.

Pep Guardiola explained, “The selection will depend on how people recover from the last game, how they feel, and after we’ll take a selection tomorrow morning.”

Manchester City also have a further two games to take on this month beyond this week’s challenges, with an FA Cup quarter-final tie against Newcastle United looming at home before the international break.

A meeting with fellow Premier League title rivals Arsenal will close out Manchester City’s March schedule, with Mikel Arteta’s squad scheduled to visit the north-west of England seeking revenge for last season’s drubbing and title chase failure.