The international break often leaves fans on the edge of their respective seats, but for the wrong reasons. This of course comes with supporters praying that the key players who line out for their club sides return unscathed.
Manchester City are one club struggling on the injury front at present, with both of the Sky Blues’ senior centre-forward options, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, sidelined.
Raheem Sterling has therefore deputised in City’s central role, with Riyad Mahrez also occupying the position on occasion.
Sterling, meanwhile, withdrew from the latest England squad with a ‘minor hamstring injury.’
In a boost for City, though, they look set to welcome the English winger back into the fold imminently, following the emergence of reports that he will likely be fit to take to the pitch this weekend.
Pep Guardiola is no doubt desperate for a win, having seen his side pick up just 4 points from their opening 3 Premier League matches. An opening day win against Wolves was followed by a shock 5-2 home defeat to Leicester City, and a 1-1 draw with Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United.
Meanwhile, Arsenal, the Citizens’ opponents this weekend, have won against Fulham, West Ham and Sheffield United, with the Gunners’ only dropped points thus far having come at Anfield.
In a targeted outburst, former Bayern Munich boss Felix Magath has claimed that Pep Guardiola’s success at Barcelona was down to Lionel Messi.
“Messi won the titles, not Guardiola,” said the former Fulham boss. “Without Messi, this system has never worked as successfully for Guardiola, otherwise he would have won the Champions League with Bayern or Manchester City long ago.”
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 30: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Magath, who himself never won the Champions League, continued: “In my opinion, Guardiola generally too often gets lost in trying to win a game in advance. That tactic often ends in wrong decisions, which prevent success.”
Guardiola has just a single season remaining on his current contract in Manchester. And whilst reports have suggested that City are keen to renew, further European failure could see the board at the Etihad forced to reconsider.
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