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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
FootballMan City team news v Arsenal: Stones, Walker out with injuries, Ederson,...

Man City team news v Arsenal: Stones, Walker out with injuries, Ederson, De Bruyne, Akanji updates

John Stones and Kyle Walker will miss Manchester City’s potentially crucial Premier League match at home to Arsenal on Sunday with injuries they sustained while playing for England during the international break, manager Pep Guardiola has said.

Full-back Walker was replaced during the Three Lions’ 1-0 defeat to Brazil on Saturday because of a suspected hamstring injury before Stones also limped off early in their 2-2 draw against Belgium on Tuesday.

“Kyle’s is tougher than John’s,” said Guardiola, who did not accept an invitation to comment on his feelings about the centre-back playing five days before City try to overhaul the table-topping Gunners. “They will be out for I don’t know how many games.”

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Guardiola said goalkeeper Ederson was “much better” following a spell out and Manuel Akanji was “okay” after missing training on Thursday.

The Spaniard also offered an update on playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who missed five months of the campaign following hamstring surgery and did not join Belgium’s squad this month because of a separate issue.

“It has been a tough season for him through injuries,” said Guardiola, adding that City would not “put all of the pressure” on the 32-year-old despite his track record of inspiring them in huge games. “He trained really well yesterday, so we will see.”

City v Arsenal: Top spot the prize

City and Arsenal’s meeting immediately after the international schedule at Etihad Stadium is one of the most anticipated games of an absorbing title race.

The reigning champions are a point behind the visitors, who are again challenging for their first title since 2004 under Guardiola’s former assistant, Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal are above second-placed Liverpool, who host Brighton & Hove Albion earlier on Sunday in the first of the 10 remaining league matches for each of the contenders.

Guardiola’s side have not lost at home since November 2022 but their 1-0 defeat at Arsenal in October ended their 12-match winning league run in the fixture.

Gabriel Martinelli scored the winner in the 86th minute of a game in which City had one of the three shots on target the teams shared.

Arsenal also beat City in this season’s Community Shield, equalising 11 minutes into added time through Leandro Trossard before triumphing 4-1 on penalties after the 1-1 draw at Wembley Stadium.

The Cityzens have not lost since December 6 and signed off before the break with a 2-0 home win against Newcastle to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.

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