Pep Guardiola reveals key Man City star could return v Luton as he gives Rodri ‘tired’ verdict

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Manchester City manager gave little away when asked about his players’ fitness ahead of Saturday’s game.

Pep Guardiola said Ederson is available and could start for Manchester City against Luton Town on Saturday.

The champions play first as the title race continues this weekend, before Liverpool and Arsenal are both in action on Sunday. For third-place City, it’s an opportunity to return, at least temporarily, to the top of the Premier League table, despite the plethora of injuries which are affecting Guardiola at present.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake missed the midweek trip to Real Madrid, illness prevented Kevin De Bruyne playing at the Bernabeu, while Phil Foden was replaced in the latter stages of the game with a dead leg. Whether the quartet are available to face Luton remains unclear, as Guardiola admitted he is not sure who will be available for Saturday’s game.

“We have training this afternoon and we will know better how they feel,” explained the 53-year-old. “I didn’t see the team and didn’t speak with the doctors [since Madrid]. I don’t know right now. Honestly, I would tell you.”

But Guardiola did confirm Ederson is back after missing over a month through injury. The Brazilian has been on the bench for the last two matches, with Stefan Ortega starting in his place, leading to confusion about who is currently City’s no.1.

“Eddy is the first choice,” Guardiola clarified on Friday. “He was ready to play against Madrid and he is ready to play tomorrow. He is going to play the next game [against Madrid]. We will take the decisions for many reasons.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It’s not just injuries that are troubling City at present, but the general levels of fatigue as the club prepare for a 50th match of the campaign. Rodri this week revealed he is in need of a rest having started 41 of the 49 games so far in 2023/24. But Guardiola wouldn’t reveal whether he will be given the afternoon off against Luton.

“I didn’t speak with him. If he needs a rest he will have a rest, or no. I don't know. I have the feeling that the games that he is so tired, like Crystal Palace and Madrid, the second half was better than the first half. They ran more and were more precise in the second half than the first.

“It depends on the team but more the physicality is the question than the mental energy spent playing every three days. Of course he is tired, he played a lot of minutes and Rodri is so important for us. We will decide tomorrow what we have to do.

“If a player doesn’t want to play, he is not going to play,” Guardiola added, when asked about Rodri. “Another one will play. If he feels tired or exhausted, it can happen. Another player is going to play.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.