Man City receive injury boost as key player returns ahead of Liverpool clash

Manchester City have suffered six injury concerns over the break, but at least one appears to have been resolved.

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Manchester City received an injury boost on Sunday night as Rodri returned to the Spain side.

The midfielder had missed Thursday’s 3-1 victory over Cyprus with a knock, leading to fears he could be an injury doubt for this weekend’s upcoming clash against Liverpool. However, Rodri managed to play 86 minutes in Valladolid on Sunday, as Spain beat Georgia.

The 3-1 win means Luis de la Fuente’s side finished their Euro 2024 qualification campaign with seven wins from eight matches and they topped Group A above second-place Scotland. Robin Le Normand and Ferran Torres were on target for Spain, while Luka Lochoshvili netted a late own-goal.

Rodri’s return will be a huge boost for Pep Guardiola in the midst of an ongoing injury crisis. Nathan Ake, Ederson, Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes dropped out of their respective international sides over the break, while Erling Haaland didn’t feature in Norway’s 3-3 draw against Scotland on Sunday due to a knock.

That's in addition to John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Gomez, who are suffering from injuries that predate the current international break, although the latter could be back in time for Saturday’s game against Liverpool.

As for Rodri, he’s established himself as one of Guardiola’s most reliable players and City lost all three games during his suspension in early autumn. 

Speaking after the Champions League against Young Boys two weeks ago, Guardiola outlined the importance of the 27-year-old in his side: “The problem is we play John and Rodri at the same time - now we are in trouble, because we have to play a bit differently, like happened in Arsenal," he said. "We do not feel comfortable still, we are not prepared to change many variations."

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