Pep Guardiola Admits Kevin De Bruyne Is a Doubt for Manchester Derby

Pep Guardiola Admits Kevin De Bruyne Is a Doubt for Manchester Derby

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has conceded that midfielder Kevin De Bruyne could be a doubt for the Manchester derby against local rivals United this coming Sunday as a result of a back problem suffered during the Carabao Cup final.

De Bruyne fell awkwardly in the closing stages of the Wembley contest against Aston Villa, which saw City lift the trophy for the third year running, and was absent from the strong squad that beat Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup on Wednesday night.

UEFA Champions League"Real Madrid v Manchester City FC"

Speaking after the game at Hillsborough, Guardiola explained why the Belgian was missing and admitted that he doesn’t yet know how long his star man will be out for.

With City travelling to Old Trafford in only a few days’ time, that puts his potential involvement in the derby in doubt.

“Kevin was not fit,” Guardiola is quoted as saying by BBC Sport“It was the last game, in the last minute. He fell down in a bad position. We don’t know how long [he is out for], hopefully not too much. I don’t know right now.”

City advanced past Sheffield Wednesday courtesy of a solitary second-half goal from Sergio Aguero and have been drawn against Newcastle at St James’ Park in the quarter-finals.

“The challenge is the next one. In the Premier League it is to make it uncomfortable for our opponents and to retain second place. It’s better being in the FA Cup than being out,” Guardiola said in further comments published by the Daily Mail.

City are seven points clear of third-place Leicester in the Premier League table, with the Foxes failing to win any of their last four league fixtures.

Yet City will be aware that the Manchester derby has been something of a bogey fixture for them in recent years as they have been beaten by United (6) as many times in all competitions as they have won since the start of the 2014/15 season.

Despite a comfortable 3-1 win at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, City have lost the two other fixtures against their Manchester neighbours so far this season, both at the Etihad.

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