Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that he will be without three first-team stars for this weekend’s Premier League outing against West Ham.
The English top-flight champions return to action following the first international break of the new season, and with a 100 per cent winning record in tact after the opening four games of the 2023/24 campaign.
Manchester City have defeated Burnley, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, and Fulham up until this point in the season, and will look to maintain their winning start to the campaign when they travel to West Ham this Saturday afternoon.
However, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola – who himself has returned following emergency surgery on a back problem – has confirmed that he will be without three components of his first-team set-up.
Speaking to the media on Friday afternoon, Guardiola confirmed that a trio of Jack Grealish, John Stones, and Mateo Kovacic will all be absent from the Manchester City travelling party that will make the trip to the London Stadium due to respective injury problems.
On the subject of John Stones and Jack Grealish, both of whom were absent from England’s national team squad over the past fortnight, Pep Guardiola explained, “Both injured for tomorrow.”
He continued, “I don’t know for Red Star (Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League). Step by Step. The injury for Jack (Grealish) is muscular but has an incredible knock for his knee and the damage is there. John (Stones) is better but still has issues.”
When discussing Mateo Kovacic, who remained on the bench for Croatia across their two international fixtures in European Championship qualifying, Pep Guardiola also confirmed his absence but reassured that the problem is not significant in terms of severity.
“Something also muscular. Not a big issue but also out for tomorrow,” the Catalan coach detailed.
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City will be hoping to have the aforementioned trio back to full fitness as soon as possible, especially with their fixture schedule intensifying from the closing weeks of September.
Following City’s return to action at the London Stadium in the Premier League this weekend, last season’s treble winners welcome back the return of UEFA Champions League football and Carabao Cup action.
In the latter, Manchester City travel to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle United in the third round of the competition, in a clash that will be the second meeting between the two sides already this season.
In the club’s first attempt at defending a Champions League crown, Manchester City have been drawn against RB Leipzig of Germany, Red Star Belgrade of Serbia, and BSC Young Boys of Switzerland in the group stage of the competition.
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