Pep Guardiola in Shortage of Fit Players ahead of Tricky Trip to Aston Villa

Pep Guardiola in Shortage of Fit Players ahead of Tricky Trip to Aston Villa

  • Pep Guardiola says his side is devoid of squad depth at the moment
  • A number of key players face late fitness tests and City have only 14 players certain for team selection for the game against Aston Villa
  • City are second on the log, a point behind league leaders Chelsea

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed his side are ‘in an emergency’ owing to the lack of fit enough first-team players.

De Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne is among the Man City players who might not be able to play the full 90 minutes against Aston Villa. Photo: Getty.
Source: Getty Images

City play Aston Villa in a tricky fixture at Villa Park on Wednesday, December 1, and Guardiola only has 14 to 15 fit players for team selection.

Ferran Torres, a Barcelona target, is out of the match with a foot problem, while Kevin De Bruyne is struggling for match fitness after days in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

The duo of Phil Foden and £100m summer signing Jack Grealish are also doubts for the clash and even if they are passed fit for the Villa game, Guardiola says they ‘cannot play a lot of minutes’.

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"We are in an emergency in the squad because we have few, few, few people," the City boss said in the 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."

One slight boost for the Citizens is the fact that defender John Stones has passed the fitness test and should be available for the clash.

Because of the shallow squad depth, Guardiola is likely to give a chance to youngsters Cole Palmer and James Mcatee, who have impressed in training.

City are one of the in-form sides in the league at the moment, as they sit in second place, a point behind league leaders Chelsea who recently dropped points after a 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

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As is the case with many Premier League sides, Guardiola will hope to keep his key players fit for a run of nine games in six weeks during the festive period.

Guardiola defends Messi's Ballon d'or

In the same press conference, Guardiola refused to be drawn to the debate on whether Lionel Messi deserved to be awarded a seventh Ballon d'Or.

On Messi’s win on Monday, November 29, Guardiola said:

"We can never say it's unfair that Leo Messi wins the Ballon d'Or. Too much good about the performances. Come on, it's a show, a nice business to make football more entertainment."

Source: Sports Brief News