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30th Nov 2021

Pep Guardiola claims Man City are facing a player ’emergency’

Daniel Brown

Man City have 15 senior players available for the Villa match

Pep Guardiola has suggested that Manchester City are facing an “emergency” with just “14 or 15” first-team players available for their Premier League trip to Aston Villa on Wednesday.

The Spaniard is concerned as City enter the busiest part of the campaign, with nine Premier League games played within just six weeks.

Forward Ferran Torres continues to be unavailable with a foot problem, while Kevin de Bruyne has not yet began training despite testing negative after previously contracting Covid-19.

Centre-back Aymeric Laporte is suspended and Phil Foden and Jack Grealish – who joined City from Villa for £100m in the summer – are also doubts for the game.

Guardiola revealed that even if the attacking duo are passed fit, they “cannot play a lot of minutes”.

“We are in an emergency in the squad because we have few, few, few people,” he said in his pre-match press conference.

“We never complain when it is not possible for players to play because of injuries or red cards because I trust the squad a lot and other players can come in.

“But we are in real trouble for December – the toughest month of the year. We have just 14 or 15, players. And a lot of players have played a lot of minutes.”

Despite having a host of players out, City do have 15 senior players available for the Villa match – even without Foden and Grealish – as John Stones is fit.

It is also thought that young stars Cole Palmer and James Mcatee will be involved with the team. 

It is unclear how long De Bruyne will be out for, with the City boss admitting that the Belgian needs to get through some work on the training pitch before he can considered for selection. 

“Kevin is back but he needs time to be fit,” said Guardiola. “All the people who had Covid explain that they are drained and tired and need time and Kevin is a player who needs to be fit otherwise he cannot show his top quality.”

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