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Manchester City hit with major double training ground absence following Chelsea win while key defender returns



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Pep Guardiola was without two key first-team stars as Manchester City training resumed on Tuesday morning, while a much-needed return has also been noted.

The Premier League champions have begun their preparations for a return to English top-flight action this week in a huge two games concerning their fate this season, as the title race remains firmly in their own hands.

Should Manchester City win all of their remaining six games this season in the Premier League, then they would be crowned champions for a fourth successive campaign – a feat never before achieved in the competition’s history.

Pep Guardiola and his players travel to Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday night in the first of two away trips in a matter of days, before a visit to Nottingham Forest on Sunday rounds off a hugely important week.

Before then however, training ground action has got off to a concerning start, with reporters present at the City Football Academy revealing the absence of two key first-team stars from the first session back after two days off.

As per reporter Anton Toloui present at the City Football Academy with Sky Sports on Tuesday morning, both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden were noted as absent from the first Manchester City session post-Chelsea.

The Norwegian played no part in the contest at the weekend having been left out of the matchday squad, while Foden started and completed the contest, with no sign of any fitness problems on first assessment.

In a much-needed boost however, John Stones trained alongside the rest of his teammates having been substituted at half-time of the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday evening, while Julian Alvarez was a late arrival onto the surface.

Despite fatigue and mental disappointment from the penalty shoot-out defeat to Real Madrid last Wednesday, Manchester City battled to victory over Mauricio Pochettino’s side under the Wembley Stadium arch, with Bernardo Silva sealing the victory in the final 10 minutes.

That means that Manchester City will have the opportunity to win successive domestic doubles this season, as their Premier League title challenge will be accompanied by an FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday 25 May.

The Football Association have also since confirmed that the second successive Manchester derby FA Cup final will kick-off at 3PM (UK), amid concerns from travelling fans that they could be faced with travel problems should the game start any later.