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Sport Pep Guardiola fears top-flight football faces an injury crisis

04:40  27 september  2020
04:40  27 september  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Pep Guardiola fears leading managers are powerless to stop an injury crisis this season as he prepares to face Leicester City on Sunday Pep Guardiola 's depleted squad face the prospect of 17 matches in two months. Gabriel Jesus is the latest Manchester City star to be sidelined through injury .

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Pep Guardiola fears leading managers are powerless to stop an injury crisis this season as he prepares to face Leicester City on Sunday without a senior striker.

Guardiola, already without record scorer Sergio Aguero, will also miss Gabriel Jesus for City's next three games at least after he suffered muscular problems during the win at Wolves on Monday.

Raheem Sterling may be forced to play a false nine on Sunday afternoon while 17-year-old Liam Delap should be on the bench following his debut goal against Bournemouth in the EFL Cup.

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Guardiola's stars may have to play up to 17 matches in 61 days with the Champions League resuming next month and six international dates in the calendar before the end of November - besides regular Premier League and EFL Cup fixtures.

'It is not just Manchester City affected. It is all the clubs, all the countries. I said many times nobody cares for the players. This is a business,' stated a concerned Guardiola.

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Josep " Pep " Guardiola Sala (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒuˈzɛb ɡwəɾðiˈɔlə]; born 18 January 1971) is a Spanish professional football manager and former player, who is the current manager of Premier League club Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola admitted concern at how Manchester City will handle their injury crisis and fears Oleksandr Zinchenko could miss up to six weeks. Guardiola - who hopes Benjamin Mendy is over the worst of his fitness issues following two serious knee problems - insisted that More top stories.

'For the players pre-season is now one week, two weeks and you have to play for 11 months every three days. In the end they are not machines and we demand a lot of them and sometimes the muscles fall down.

'Every association, the Premier League, UEFA, FIFA, Carabao Cup, they defend their own business and position.'

Guardiola, who lost his mother to Covid-19, is aware the pandemic has affected all industries, not just football, which is facing an unprecedented season with fixture congestion.

'We are part of the business and we want to do it as best as possible for ourselves and for the fans watching at home,' he said.

a person in a blue shirt: Liam Delap scored against Bournemouth in midweek and could get some league minutes © Provided by Daily Mail Liam Delap scored against Bournemouth in midweek and could get some league minutes

'We are going to play every game in the right way until the players are coming back. Everyone is struggling. I understand it is an exceptional situation for restaurants, cinemas, theatres, museums, shopping. We (football) are not different in this.'

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Guardiola, who was down to 13 senior players for Thursday's cup tie, was downbeat as he confirmed the loss of Jesus and its impact. The Brazilian FA announced on Friday the striker would not be called up for World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Peru.

'He is injured for the next month. We don't have Sergio, we don't have Gabriel. We have Liam (Delap),' said Guardiola grimly.

Bernardo Silva standing in a field: Bernardo Silva and Aymeric Laporte are two of Manchester City's first-team casualties © Provided by Daily Mail Bernardo Silva and Aymeric Laporte are two of Manchester City's first-team casualties

'Sergio is still not training and we have the injury for Gabriel against Wolves so he will be one month out. Muscular.'

He is also without Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan on Sunday and Jesus is set to miss further games against Burnley (EFL Cup) and Leeds, and possibly Arsenal and West Ham after the international break.

Aguero, City's record scorer, hasn't played since injuring his knee against Burnley on June 22 and though the Argentine is making progress after surgery, Guardiola suggests a return isn't imminent.

a baseball player pitching a ball on a field: Cole Palmer could appear on the bench again when Man City play Burnley in the Carabao Cup © Provided by Daily Mail Cole Palmer could appear on the bench again when Man City play Burnley in the Carabao Cup

'I don't know how long it will be, hopefully as soon as possible,' he said. 'He is running a bit on the pitch but still could not make one training session with the team yet.

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Pep Guardiola is concerned defender Oleksandr Zinchenko could be out until December Zinchenko has undergone knee surgery to add to Manchester City's defensive crisis City are also nursing John Stones back to full fitness following a thigh injury and Guardiola

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola wants Milan Skriniar to solve his defensive injury crisis in Pep Guardiola is down to one fit recognised centre half in Nicolas Otamendi, with John Stones suffering a French international Laporte faces a long spell on the sidelines after damaging cartilage and his

'Hopefully it will be weeks, one month or maybe a little bit more when he comes back.'

With City's resources spread thin, particularly up front, there may be an opportunity for another academy prospect, 18-year-old Cole Palmer, to be part of the squad that plays Burnley in the EFL Cup next week.

Riyad Mahrez is also in contention to start against his former club on Sunday afternoon.

a close up of Riyad Mahrez throwing a ball: Riyad Mahrez will be hoping to start against his former club Leicester on Sunday © Provided by Daily Mail Riyad Mahrez will be hoping to start against his former club Leicester on Sunday Read more

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