Man City duo pick up injuries vs Brighton as Pep Guardiola reveals Man Utd FA Cup final concern

John Stones and Phil Foden picked up knocks on Thursday night.
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Pep Guardiola revealed John Stones and Phil Foden were both replaced in Manchester City’s Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion due to injury.

The champions drew 1-1 at the Amex in their penultimate Premier League match of the campaign, with Foden and Julio Ensico netting on the night that Brighton secured their place in the Europa League next season.

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Foden was City’s best player on Wednesday but gestured to the substitutes’ bench in the opening period and seemed to indicate that he felt a little discomfort. The England international was then replaced just five minutes after the break.

As for Stones, he dropped to the turf in the latter stages of the match and was replaced by Sergio Gomez. Guardiola admitted after the game that both knocks are concern given the club have cup finals against Manchester United and Inter Milan on the horizon.

“Yeah, [they] feel uncomfortable,” the City boss told Sky Sports. “Phil, that is why we did a substitution after five minutes [in the second half]. John at the end feels tight and of course we have to be careful so the players arrive in the final as best as possible.”

City face United next week in the FA Cup final at Wembley, before the Blues lock horns with Inter on 10 June in the Champions League final. The new injuries to Stones and Foden come after five players were forced to miss the trip to Brighton with knocks.

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Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Manuel Akanji were all surprise omissions from the travelling squad at the Amex, while Nathan Ake continues to struggle with a hamstring issue. The lack of centre-backs meant City finished the game against Brighton with Kyle Walker and Rodri at the heart of defence.

Meanwhile, Jack Grealish was the fourth player from Sunday’s squad who didn’t travel to Brighton. Again, this raises a huge concern for Guardiola given his first two choices at left wing - Grealish and Foden - have both suffered knocks the week before the FA Cup final.

Asked about Dias, Laporte, Akanji and Grealish before the game, Guardiola said: “They are not fit. I don’t know what happened. Many players after they won the Premier League [on Sunday] got injured. Three, four, five, they are not fit. No Ayme, no Akanji, no Ruben, no Grealish. We will see how they recover in the next days.”

There’s a bitter irony to the timing of City’s injuries given for several weeks Ake has been the only absentee. In fact, the Dutchman was the only player ruled out of Sunday’s game against Chelsea, but now seven are doubts for the Brentford encounter this weekend.