Pep Guardiola provided an important fitness update ahead of Manchester City’s Double Gameweek 24 visit to Everton.
After scoring 19 points against Spurs, Ilkay Gundogan (£6.1m) looks unlikely to reprise that role at Goodison Park.
He was forced off with a groin problem on Saturday which Guardiola seems unprepared to take too many risks with:
“Ilkay is much better but I don’t think he’s available for tomorrow. The rest of the players are okay, except Nathan Ake.”
How long Gundogan is the central player to Manchester City’s attack remains to be seen, not just because of his injury.
Guardiola offered some encouraging news on the return of Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m), suggesting he could be back on the FPL radar very soon.
“He’s really getting better (De Bruyne). Today he did all training with the group, with all of us. Much better.”
And Sergio Aguero (£10.3m) continues to build up sufficient match fitness to provide competition to Gabriel Jesus (£9.2m) and possibly other members of Manchester City’s front-three.
“Sergio Aguero (£10.3m) is one Sergio is one year injured so cannot start from the beginning – but he is ready to come back. He was on the bench last game and will be again.” – Pep Guardiola
Meanwhile, after spending the Spurs game on the bench in the aftermath of a midweek illness, centre-back Ruben Dias (£6.1m) remains available for selection.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) owners will have to wait a little longer before seeing their man in action.
After a more positive update before the Double Gameweek 24 deadline, Carlo Ancelotti ruled him out for the second game in a row.
“Not available for sure are Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Gbamin. The others are all okay. They are going to train today. Jordan Pickford (£4.8m) yesterday trained and it was all okay.”
The Everton manager is hopeful that Calvert-Lewin will be ready for the Liverpool game in Double Gameweek 25, making his next press conference another important one to tune into.
“I think it’s a matter of days. We hope that he will be available for Saturday.”
Ancelotti did deliver some better news on Allan (£5.2m), who he said is available to play against Manchester City.
James Rodriguez (£7.7m), who came off with a knock in their defeat to Fulham, is also expected to be available.
“It is the intensity of the Premier League. There is a lot of contact. I think it was nothing wrong. It was a normal contact and he is available to play (against Man City).” – Carlo Ancelotti
Fulham will be without forward Aleksandar Mitrovic (£5.5m) for their visit to Burnley, with manager Scott Parker revealing he was suffering from COVID-19.
“Mitro is okay, he’s got one symptom of the virus. It’s disappointing for him as he was coming out the other side of a tough season. It’s a big time and we’ll need him.”
In the absence of Mitrovic, Parker backed Josh Maja (£5.5m) to continue performing after his brace against Everton.
“I’ve been impressed with Josh Maja in a short space of time. He’s fitted in very well. He’s come into a young, energetic group of players. He wants to learn and get better, which is vitally important.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche could be without a number of players for the Clarets’ game with Fulham, with Ben Mee (£5.1m) definitely missing the game.
“Mee is fine within himself but he won’t be playing. We’ll follow the protocols for that.”
Erik Pieters (£4.3m) is also a doubt after coming off injured against Palace, with first-choice left-back Charlie Taylor (£4.4m) nearing a return to fitness.
“Pieters isn’t that serious but is touch and go, Vydra isn’t too serious either, Taylor has made good progress and has trained recently, we’ll have to make a decision on Wood.”
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