Manchester City Facing Player “Emergency” Ahead Of Aston Villa Clash

Manchester City

Manchester City are facing a “player emergency” ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Just over 24 hours before his team take on a rejuvenated Aston Villa under Steven Gerrard, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he has just “14 or 15” senior players available for selection with many players sidelined due to respective injuries, fitness doubts, and COVID protocols.

Following the departure of Sergio Aguero in the summer after the City legend’s contract expired, Pep Guardiola’s outright attacking options have been limited – but the team definitely hasn’t struggled to find the net with the likes of Ferran Torres, Phil Foden, and Riyad Mahrez hitting the net on a regular basis.

Torres, however, is set to miss the match with a foot problem, and Kevin de Bruyne is yet to resume training after a bout of Covid-19 and will not play. De Bruyne has since tested negative.

Phil Foden and Jack Grealish – who joined City from Villa for £100m in the summer – are doubts and will “not play a lot of minutes” if they play any part, according to Guardiola.

At the back, Aymeric Laporte will be missing from defence due to suspension.

“We are in an emergency in the squad because we have few, few, few people. 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.”

John Stones is set to return having been declared fit, while lack of “senior” players may see City’s young starlets Cole Palmer and James Mcatee, both of whom have made an impact thus far this season, involved.

Guardiola discussed De Bruyne’s absence, saying the Belgian needs more time after being “drained” following his Covid diagnosis.

“Kevin is back but he needs time to be fit. 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.”

Manchester City are currently second in the Premier League table, one point behind leaders Chelsea and one point ahead of third-place Liverpool. Meanwhile, Aston Villa have climbed up to 13th after winning two games in a row under new manager Steven Gerrard.