Pep Guardiola has given a fitness update on six Manchester City players ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game against Liverpool.
The champions head to Anfield with several injury concerns in the midst of a busy fixture schedule. Guardiola revealed on Tuesday that Erling Haaland was ‘tired’ and ‘didn’t recover well’ after last weekend’s win over Southampton, resulting in him being rested for the midweek draw in Copenhagen.
Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden also didn’t start as City drew 1-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday, but did come off the bench. Speaking after the game, Guardiola said: “Phil also had some disturbing problems, Bernardo told us yesterday he was so tired. I didn’t want to take a risk.”
Meanwhile, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips have both undergone surgery in recent weeks due to injuries, while John Stones has missed the last four with a hamstring problem. But the City boss provided an update on all six players during Friday’s pre-match press conference.
Asked about Haaland, Silva and Foden, Guardiola responded, “We have a lot of games like a lot of teams and the players recover better. We cannot forget that Erling last season could not play this amount of games in a row. They feel good. They are ready for Sunday,” he added.
There’s also good news on Stones, who could be back in the next week, but Walker and Phillips remain longer-term issues. “All of them will be out [for Sunday],” said Guardiola. “John will be back, I don’t know when, but maybe one week or 10 days. Kalvin is getting better and improving a lot. Kyle still is out.”
Asked whether the trio will be available for England’s World Cup campaign which begins next month, the Catalan replied: “I don’t know.”
As for Liverpool, they’re expected to be without Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Kieta and Luis Diaz for the clash with City on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp also hinted there could be further injuries when speaking on Friday. Asked if all his players had emerged from Wednesday’s win over Rangers unscatched, the Liverpool manager responded: “We have to see, no final decisions yet."