Manchester City could be without four key players for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Arsenal.
The Citizens have been in scintillating form in recent times, astonishingly winning their last ten league outings, a run of games that sees them eight points clear of second-placed Chelsea at the top of the table.
However, the Gunners are also in a fine vein of form, securing all three points in their last four league fixtures, helping them climb to fourth in the current standings.
Mikel Arteta won’t be attending the game as the Spaniard continues his isolation period after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this week whilst City have some problems of their own, with a number of their first-team players doubts for the highly-anticipated clash.
Here, football.london details four first-team players that are doubts for Saturday’s match at the Emirates Stadium.
Spanish midfielder Rodri has missed City’s last two outings through injury, watching on as his teammates dispatched Leicester City 6-3 on Boxing Day before defeating Brentford 1-0 in midweek.
The former Atletico Madrid star has been one of Guardiola’s most important players this term, controlling games in the middle of the park by utilising his keen eye for a pass and undeniable ability to read the game at an elite level.
However, he wasn’t spotted in Thursday’s training session by our sister title the Manchester Evening News, meaning it could be up to 36-year-old veteran Fernandinho to nullify Arsenal’s in-form attack.
Versatile defender Joao Cancelo is also a doubt for the trip to north London after the Portuguese international revealed a facial injury that he had sustained after his home was burgled.
Taking to Instagram, Cancelo wrote: “When you show resistance this is what happens. They managed to take all my jewellery and leave me with my face with this state.
“I don’t know how there are people with such meanness. The most important thing for me is my family and luckily they are all OK.
“And after so many obstacles in my life, this is just one more that I will overcome. Firm and strong, like always.”
City confirmed in a club statement that the former Juventus full-back is cooperating with the police’s enquiries: “We are shocked and appalled that Joao Cancelo and his family were subjected to a burglary at their home this evening during which Joao was also assaulted.
“Joao and his family are being supported by the Club and he is helping the police with their enquiries as they investigate this very serious matter.”
John Stones is another City player that wasn’t spotted in training on Thursday, with the English international also missing recent wins against the Foxes and the Bees.
After enjoying a stellar 2020/21 campaign, Stones has struggled for regular game time this season, starting just four times in the league so far this term as Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias have been Guardiola’s preferred pair in the centre of defence.
Former Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker has started just one league game this month having been ill in recent weeks, however, he was pictured back in training with his teammates during Thursday’s session.
Walker’s return is particularly timely for Guardiola given the aforementioned incident involving Cancelo.
The 31-year-old will be a serious test for Brazilian winger Gabriel Martinelli down Arsenal’s left-wing if the pair do start on Saturday.