Pep Guardiola details ‘disturbing’ Kevin De Bruyne injury ahead of Man City vs Real Madrid

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The Manchester City manager also gave updates on the likelihood of John Stones and Kyle Walker playing on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola has revealed Kevin De Bruyne has a ‘disturbing’ injury ahead of Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, although it won’t prevent the 30-year-old from playing in the first leg.

The Spanish giants travel to the Etihad on Tuesday for the first meeting in that double header, and Guardiola is short of options across the board.

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Kyle Walker and John Stones missed Saturday’s 5-1 win over Watford due to injury, and are doubts for the Real clash, while Joao Cancelo is definitely out due to suspension.

Kevin De Bruyne played less than an hour at the Etihad on Saturday. Cedit: Getty.Kevin De Bruyne played less than an hour at the Etihad on Saturday. Cedit: Getty.
Kevin De Bruyne played less than an hour at the Etihad on Saturday. Cedit: Getty.

But Tuesday’s mammoth game was certainly on Guardiola’s mind during the Premier League fixture with the Hornets, with Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva rested, while Aymeric Laporte and Rodri were withdrawn in the latter stages.

De Bruyne was also replaced after just 57 minutes, with City already 5-1 up at that stage of the proceedings, and Guardiola explained this was due to the Belgian managing an ankle problem he’s picked up in recent games.

Pep Guardiola reacts during Manchester City’s 5-1 win over Watford on Saturday. Credit: Getty.Pep Guardiola reacts during Manchester City’s 5-1 win over Watford on Saturday. Credit: Getty.
Pep Guardiola reacts during Manchester City’s 5-1 win over Watford on Saturday. Credit: Getty.

“If you have 17 or 18 players fit I would say it does not matter, but that is not the case,” the City boss said after the game. “I have 13 or 14 players fit and in the last games Ayme and Kevin played a lot of minutes.

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“Kevin is playing with some disturbing niggles in his ankle from the kicks he got in the last games. But at 5-1, I was thinking not just Madrid, but Leeds away [next weekend]. That’s why in that moment I’m thinking the game is almost over at 5-1.

“Of course I gave a rest to players in the last minutes who had played a lot of minutes. We don’t have central defenders. That’s why Nathan [Ake] played today with a problem with his ankle. We have to think about it in the next ones. If it was 1-0 or 2-0, Kevin would have continued to the end, I can assure you.”

Guardiola was also asked about his options in defence and whether Oleksandr Zinchenko could play at left-back against Madrid, with Walker and Stones doubts, and Guardiola responded with a fitness update on the latter pair.

“We don’t have many options,” he explained. “We don’t have full-backs, we don’t know if Kyle will arrive. So we will see. Joao is out and John, it will be difficult to get to. We will see, but Alek is another player who is so reliable.”

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