Gabriel Jesus and Fred challenge for the ball. Credit: Getty.
Manchester United and Manchester City could both be without key players this weekend when Premier League football returns.
That’s because the Brazilian Football Federation have written to FIFA to request that eight players from England’s top flight be barred from featuring in their clubs’ games between 10-14 September, as per the governing body’s rules if players aren’t released from their clubs for international duty.
What do we know?
It’s been widely reported that the eight players include Fred, Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, who didn’t travel to meet up with Brazil earlier this month and were deemed as ineligible.
That’s because Brazil is currently on the UK’s ‘red list’ for travel and individuals returning from the country would have to quarantine upon arrival.
The other players on the list include Liverpool’s trio of Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, Chelsea defender Thiago Silva and Leeds United winger Raphina.
How would it affect United?
Should he be suspended, Fred would be unable to play in Saturday’s game against Newcastle United, nor would he be able to feature for United in Tuesday’s Champions League trip to take on Young Boys.
That could see Nemanja Matic partner Paul Pogba in the centre of the park, with Scott McTominay unavailable. Donny van de Beek is also an option in midfield for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
How would it affect City?
Pep Guardiola would be without Ederson for Saturday’s tough away clash against Leicester City, and with second-choice goalkeeper Zack Steffen recently testing positive for Covid-19, the champions may be forced to play Scott Carson between the sticks.
The experienced stopper has made just one appearance for City, when he played against Newcastle last season.
Jesus would also be missing at the King Power Stadium this Saturday, but that poses less of a problem for Guardiola with a plethora of options out wide including Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva.
With City’s Champions League game against RB Leipzig taking place on Wednesday, both Ederson and Jesus will be eligible to play.
Will the ban definitely take place?
No, with the affected Premier League clubs reportedly set to fight the request from the Brazilian federation.
The Guardian are reporting the sides remain hopeful that their players will be allowed to participate in their respective games this weekend.