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SportMan City team news vs Newcastle: Injury dogs De Bruyne, Ederson out,...

Man City team news vs Newcastle: Injury dogs De Bruyne, Ederson out, Grealish in contention

Kevin De Bruyne will miss Manchester City’s FA Cup fifth round tie at home to Newcastle on Saturday with a groin injury which has ruled him out of Belgium’s friendlies this month.

Red Devils manager Domenico Tedesco announced earlier this week that De Bruyne would not feature for his national squad as a precaution, and City manager Pep Guardiola will allow the 32-year-old to rest after he played for 69 minutes of the reigning Premier League champions’ 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Sunday.

“He’s not ready,” said Guardiola, who lost De Bruyne for five months of the season following hamstring surgery.

“He had some problems at Anfield. We spoke with the Belgium manager and he decided. I’m grateful because then [De Bruyne] can feel good and be ready for the rest of the season.”

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Guardiola dismissed the idea that the decision to play De Bruyne in the top-of-the-table game despite his issue was questionable.

“All players in today’s football [play with] problems,” said Guardiola. “The day after, he didn’t feel good… it was better to take a step back.”

Ederson injury: Return vs Arsenal possible

De Bruyne remonstrated with Guardiola when he was substituted, but the Spaniard said afterwards that there was “no problem” between the pair.

First-choice goalkeeper Ederson will also be absent against the Magpies, although Guardiola expects him to be ready to face Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on March 31.

Stefan Ortega will deputise for Ederson, who was replaced shortly after being injured while trying to stop Darwin Nunez from capitalising on a misplaced Nathan Ake backpass against Liverpool, conceding the 50th-minute penalty which allowed Mac Allister to equalise.

“He has proven himself with incredible-quality performances when he’s had to play,” Guardiola said of Ortega.

Jack Grealish could return for the FA Cup holders, with Guardiola describing the playmaker as “getting better” and “in the group”.

City are a point behind Arsenal and Liverpool in third in the Premier League and were pitted against familiar rivals Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final draw on Friday.

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