Pep Guardiola will be forced to contend with three confirmed absentees during his preparations for Wednesday night’s trip to face Aston Villa in Birmingham.
The Premier League champions sustained two further blows over the weekend to a squad that has been hampered by various injury problems and fitness inconsistencies during the first few months of the ongoing campaign.
A double suspension on Sunday afternoon was added to by an injury concern to star forward Jeremy Doku, whilst Matheus Nunes remains on the fringes of the first-team squad as he works towards full match fitness.
Kevin De Bruyne is also sidelined as he enters the final phase of his recovery from hamstring surgery, having sustained a repeat of his UEFA Champions League final injury during the Premier League opener against Burnley in August.
Ahead of one of Manchester City’s most challenging away trips in the Premier League season, here is how Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad looks following another round of damaging match action over the weekend.
The Portugal international returned to first-team training towards the end of last week, but was deemed short of match fitness to be named on the Manchester City bench for the visit of Tottenham on Sunday.
It is likely that the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man will have recovered in time to make an appearance in some capacity for the midweek trip to Villa Park, and may be called upon by Pep Guardiola given problems elsewhere in his midfield roster.
Manchester City’s breakthrough winger was withdrawn just seven minutes after the start of the second-half of action against Ange Postecoglou’s side, appearing to indicate discomfort in his leg to manager Pep Guardiola.
At present, the severity of the problem remains unknown, however Pep Guardiola could offer an update on the Belgium international during his pre-Aston Villa press conference on Tuesday afternoon, should Doku undergo testing early this week.
Following an accumulation of yellow cards, Jack Grealish will now serve a one-match suspension against Aston Villa, with his fifth and most recent caution coming as a result of kicking the ball away against Tottenham.
Grealish will become available again for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Sunday afternoon.
Similar to Grealish, Rodri will also serve a one-match suspension against Aston Villa having received a fifth yellow card of the season for a first-half foul against Tottenham at the weekend.
Rodri will also become available again for the Premier League champions against Luton.
Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City’s poster playmaker is unlikely to return to match action until after the new year, as he continues to work towards match fitness and recover from surgery on a reoccurring hamstring problem.
Speaking while attending the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last month, De Bruyne told reporters, “If everything goes well, hopefully (I’ll be back in action for Manchester City) not long after the New Year.”
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