Pep Guardiola has given an encouraging update on the injury situation at Manchester City ahead of the final Premier League match of the season, and the finals against Manchester United and Inter Milan in the coming weeks.
The Premier League champions will give their injured players as long as possible to be fit for the Premier League trip to Brentford, although Pep Guardiola could not confirm if some of his key players would miss the game or not.
City took on Brighton this week without Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias, Manu Akanji, Aymeric Laporte and Jack Grealish in the squad, with Guardiola noting that they were all not fit enough. Phil Foden and John Stones were both substituted as a precaution – although Foden has been pictured training on Thursday.
Speaking ahead of the trip to Brentford – and the upcoming FA Cup final against Manchester United, Guardiola confirmed that he will take the strongest possible squad to London.
Guardiola said: “Getting better some of them. We see tomorrow training in the afternoon and we decide how they are fit for the last game. We need to keep our rhythm before the long week.”
Guardiola did say that no player has been officially ruled out of the final league game, and said that there are no thoughts towards the FA Cup final next weekend
“No, we are going to play the game as seriously as possible,” he said, regarding the possibility of Brentford being an audition for the FA Cup final.
“It depends on how the players feel. We don’t want to take a risk. If players are available we take the team to win the game.”
The plethora of fresh injuries this week was especially concerning given City meet United at Wembley next weekend in the FA Cup final, before facing Inter Milan in the Champions League final seven days later.
Guardiola said he has not started to think fully about Inter at this stage, but has already begun planning on how to stop Erik ten Hag’s side. “I am more focused right now on United,” he said.
“Yesterday I saw the game against Chelsea and I started to review a little what they have done to us in the game at Old Trafford. I prepared that game knowing which players we will have at our disposal.”
Guardiola also said he has started to think about his starting XI for the United game in just over a week. “I have a vague idea,” he revealed. “United play different to Inter Milan. We have to defend and attack differently and some players adjust better.
“It’s Brentford [first] – we see what we have to do and then on Wednesday when we join together again [for training], it’s how many players do I have? Are they fit? If they are not fit they are out for the first final and then prepare.
“After I see United yesterday… I was really impressed in the past about how good they are and we have to be careful. I would be careful anyway but after the game they did yesterday and recently, we are going as good as possible in the final of the FA Cup.”
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