Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola this evening spoke out over the wellbeing of two of his side’s star men, ahead of the club’s upcoming showdown with Everton.
City visit Goodison
The Sky Blues are set to return to action on Monday evening.
Guardiola’s men will make the trip to Goodison Park, for a Premier League meeting with Everton.
Remarkably, the clash is set to arrive just 48 hours after City last took to the pitch, versus Newcastle.
The Manchester giants continued their ascent up the English top-flight standings with a comfortable 2-0 win over Steve Bruce’s outfit on Saturday, courtesy of goals from Ferran Torres and Ilkay Gundogan:
Everton, though, will prove no pushovers for the Citizens, with the Merseysiders also set to enter proceedings on Monday evening with their tails up.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have racked up 4 straight league wins over the last couple of weeks, with the Toffees, in turn, sitting pretty in 2nd in the Premier League table.
Aguero & KDB latest
As such, for obvious reasons, Pep Guardiola will no doubt be keen to have as many of his key performers available as possible in 24 hours’ time, ahead of a stern test of Man City’s top-4 credentials.
Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus were of course both forced to sit out proceedings versus Newcastle on Saturday, as per the Premier League’s Covid-19 protocol.
Two of those who did feature en route to City’s latest 3-point haul, though, were Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne.
Argentine hitman Aguero was introduced off the bench with 15 minutes remaining at the Etihad, as the 32-year-old continues to work towards a return to full fitness.
In turn, ahead of his side’s trip to Merseyside, Guardiola was this evening drawn on Aguero’s wellbeing, and whether the veteran frontman had come through the exchanges versus Newcastle unscathed.
And, based on the response on the part of the Sky Blues boss, it appears safe to assume that Aguero will play at least some role versus Everton on Monday evening:
‘We discussed with [assistant coaches] Juanma [Lillo] and Rodolfo [Borrell] whether to start with Sergio. I need him.’
‘Today was very good news in general in that in the 20 minutes Sergio played, we saw him sharp and dynamic. This is incredible news for us.’
‘We need him, absolutely. We have to be careful. We cannot do what we did in the past, when he comes back and then gets injured. I still want to handle the minutes but I saw him well. I love this guy.’
Elsewhere, meanwhile, Guardiola was also drawn on the fitness of Kevin De Bruyne.
Belgian midfielder De Bruyne has been heavily relied upon throughout City’s hectic festive fixture list, with many, in turn, having assumed that the former Wolfsburg man would soon be afforded a Premier League night off.
Guardiola, however, has since suggested otherwise, hinting that, as things stand, De Bruyne will only be rested for cup outings:
‘He’s outstanding, he is so important for us. Sometimes, like Arsenal, he didn’t travel. I prefer to have him fit especially in the Premier League. The other competitions are important but we don’t want to be too far away from the top of the league.’
‘We have a game in hand, against a tough opponent Aston Villa, but in the way we are going to play, we are going to be close to the top. Then we fight to be there in the last eight or 10 games.’
Quotes via Goal
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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|20||Sheffield United FC||15||-18||2|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||13|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||12|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||11|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||11|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||10|
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|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||5|
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|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||5|
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|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||5|
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|Evans, Jonny||Leicester City FC||0||5|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace FC||1||4|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||4|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||0||4|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||0||4|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||0||4|
|Klich, Mateusz||Leeds United||0||4|
|Reid, Bobby||Fulham FC||0||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||4|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa FC||0||3|
|Berge, Sander||Sheffield United FC||0||4|
|Phillips, Kalvin||Leeds United||0||4|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||0||4|
|Dunk, Lewis||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||3|
|Mendy, Nampalys||Leicester City FC||0||4|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||1||3|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||10|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||6|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||6|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||6|
|Robertson, Andrew||Liverpool FC||5|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||4|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||4|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||4|
|Adams, Che||Southampton FC||4|
|Harrison, Jack||Leeds United||4|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||4|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||4|
|Digne, Lucas||Everton FC||4|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||3|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||3|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||3|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||3|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||3|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||3|
|Neto, Pedro||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||3|