Pep Guardiola offers John Stones injury update ahead of Man City v Real Madrid

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The Manchester City defender wasn’t included in the matchday squad against Luton Town.

Pep Guardiola gave an encouraging injury update on John Stones after Manchester City’s Premier League win over Luton Town on Saturday.

The defender was a shock omission from the squad and was the only first-team regular not involved. Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake, who were both absent in Madrid during the week, were named on the bench in the 5-1 win - as was Phil Foden after his late withdrawal at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

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But ahead of the second leg against Real Madrid this week, Stones' problem offered a fresh concern for City - yet Guardiola eased those worries after the Luton victory.

“Have some niggles, is fine. Not injured, but didn't want to take some risk,” he confirmed. “Nathan and Kyle want to be on the bench so were on the bench,” the City boss added.

The four-goal victory sent the champions to the Premier League summit, at least temporarily, until Arsenal and Liverpool are in action on Sunday. But Guardiola doesn’t think that offers his side any sort of psychological advantage.

“No I don't think so, will be different after the same games. I don’t consider these kind of situations. But I know they want to be there, Arsenal and Liverpool, otherwise wouldn't drop.

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The way we play at Crystal Palace before Madrid, four goals and played really good, especially in the second half. Today five more, they know how difficult is Luton.

“The fact they we have Haaland there, they adapt man marking. They adapt in the deep position, 5-4-1, so deep. Erling is there and we did really well. We played the game we should play.”

While the post-match 5-1 scoreline looks convincing for City, the Blues didn’t have everything their own way against relegation-threatened Luton. After an hour they only led by one goal, and three goals in the final 15 minutes also changed the complexion of the game.

“Really hard, until the second goal was not tired, we played really good and had a lot of chances in the first half. We miss something in the finishing but we create a lot and didn’t concede,” said Guardiola.

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“But how many times have I seen in world football that a team is better and doesn’t win the game? Many times. After the second and third, we concede one, unnecessary, but it’s football, it happens. In general the performance considering it’s between Madrid [games], the guys performed like we are.”

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