Manchester City vs Liverpool: Pep Guardiola reveals Kevin De Bruyne may miss crunch Premier League clash
Kevin De Bruyne could miss Manchester City’s top of the table Premier League meeting with Liverpool.
The first and second placed sides meet at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday evening in what Pep Guardiola warns is a must-win match for his side.
Unbeaten pace-setters Liverpool head into the showdown leading City by seven points after 20 games.
And City may have to do without star man De Bruyne, the Belgium midfielder who is widely regarded as their best player, for the crunch clash.
He missed Sunday’s defeat of Southampton which saw City get back to winning ways after two successive losses, and Guardiola admitted after the match that he does not know if De Bruyne will be fit for Thursday night.
“I don’t know how De Bruyne is,” Guardiola said after Sunday match. “I know it’s not serious, but I don’t know if he can play on Thursday.”
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De Bruyne has suffered a couple of ligament injuries this season which have restricted him to just six Premier League appearances – only one of which has come from the start.
He managed his longest appearance of the campaign in the shock defeat at Leicester on Boxing Day – staying on the pitch for 70 of the 90 minutes – but did not play four days later.
Guardiola appeared to suggest De Bruyne has suffered a set-back in his recovery.
“It is not a big issue, but it is normal when you come back from injury that you have a little bit of problems,” he added.
Guardiola went on to admits his side’s title tilt will be on the line this week.
“With the position of Liverpool, if we drop points then it is over, it is finished; it would be almost impossible,” said the Spaniard, who led City to the title in record-breaking fashion last season.
“Of course they are going to drop points but not too many. If you want to be there as far as possible until the end, we have to remember what happened last season, and this as well, apart from the last few days.
“We never forget who we are. Sometimes you have to kick your face, be a little bit stubborn and ask ‘guys, what happened?’.
“Maybe I’m wrong but all players everywhere want to do well. Sometimes you need to realise that wanting to do well is not enough. You have to try it again.
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“Liverpool know what they have to do, we know what we have to do on Thursday.
“I know the distance is big, seven points, especially because they’re so solid and consistent. But we’re at home, hopefully our extra help from our people at the Etihad can help, they can support us.
“In the winter break everyone loses games, except for Liverpool in this period, but everyone drops points, that’s normal.
“We spoke about our responsibilities and what we are as a team and they did it today, and that was fantastic.”
Source: SportsLatest TS