Manchester City team news: Guardiola gives update on Mahrez, Ake & Zinchenko ahead of Southampton trip

The champions could end this weekend 14 points clear of second-place Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola has confirmed Riyad Mahrez will not be involved in Manchester City’s Premier League fixture with Southampton on Saturday.

The winger suffered disappointment at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Thursday with Algeria’s 3-1 loss to Ivory Coast meaning the 2019 champions have been eliminated.

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The culmination of Mahrez’s AFCON this year had led to speculation that he would be available for the upcoming Premier League game against the Saints, but speaking in Friday’s pre-match press conference, Guardiola said he will not return to the club immediately following Algeria’s exit.

Mahrez missed a penalty in the defeat to Ivory Coast. Credit: Getty.

“No, he’s on holiday all week. After the African Cup he had permission to have one week off and come back to the team next week,” the Catalan explained.

After the recent Covid-19 outbreak at the club, it looks like City could have a strong side available for the trip to St Mary’s.

Nathan Ake was not involved for the champions at Stamford Bridge last week, when Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half goal secured all three points for City.

Ake also didn’t featur in a pre-match training video on the club’s website in the build-up to the game, nor did Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Guardiola was asked during Friday’s press conference whether either player would be available and responded:”Nathan is ready, Zinchenko no.”

The only other doubt is Cole Palmer, who also didn’t seem to be involved in the training video, however there has been no suggestion from Guardiola that the youth graduate has picked up any sort of injury.