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Pep Guardiola quizzed on fitness and availability of SIX Manchester City players ahead of Luton clash



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been quizzed on the availability and latest fitness of six first-team players, following their respective issues after Real Madrid.

Manchester City played out an intense 3-3 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the first-leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie teeing up a mouthwatering return-leg at the Etihad Stadium next week.

The contest did not come and go without it’s problems however, with a number of players missing out due to injuries and fitness concerns, as well as illness, while other names picked up strong bouts of fatigue and knocks.

Speaking during his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Luton Town to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Pep Guardiola issued updates on the six Manchester City players with respective question marks over their availability.

Ederson has been ruled out of the last few matches with a thigh injury sustained against Liverpool at Anfield. However, despite Stefan Ortega’s arguably faultless performances, Guardiola insisted that the Brazilian remains the club’s first-choice in goal.

Ederson also comes back into contention for the weekend, as Pep Guardiola explained, “He was ready to play against (Real) Madrid. He is ready for tomorrow (against Luton) and we will make the decision.”

Speaking after the 3-3 draw against Real Madrid, defensive midfield mainstay Rodri also insisted that he feels he needs a rest following a run of 66 matches unbeaten for the reigning Treble winners and in light of a relentless run of matches this campaign.

Responding to such comments, Guardiola explained, “If he needs rest he will have rest… I have the feeling we were tired in the last games – we were better in the second half. We will decide tomorrow what we have to do.”

There was no update from Pep Guardiola on the fitness of John Stones, after the England international was revealed to have been struggling from muscular tightness in the closing exchanges at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Uncertainty remained over the fitness of Kyle Walker too, with Pep Guardiola insisting that he is yet to speak with club medical staff over the availability and recovery process of the full-back, alongside Phil Foden after his knock sustained against Real Madrid.

No comments were offered on Kevin De Bruyne, however the Belgian trained following Manchester City’s return to the City Football Academy on Wednesday afternoon. The midfielder withdrew from action against Madrid through illness.

Manchester City are due to train after Pep Guardiola’s press conference with the media on Friday afternoon, and as such no further updates will likely be presented through mainstream coverage, with the embargoed section of the address recorded prior to training.