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Guardiola welcomes return of defensive reinforcements

Pep Guardiola says it is vital Eric Garcia, Aymeric Laporte and Ferran Torres are back after injury and illness.

Garcia and Laporte made their first appearances in a month as Manchester City beat Cheltenham Town 3-1 to reach the FA Cup fifth round, with Torres scoring in his first start since recovering from COVID-19.

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With Nathan Ake also out injured, Garcia and Laporte’s absence left City with just two fit senior centre-backs and, in the midst of a busy period, Guardiola is delighted to be welcoming players back.

“I will see next week but two important players are back to compete with the other ones,” he said when asked if Laporte and Torres will be fit enough to play against West Brom on Tuesday.

“We were lucky to survive this period with only two centre-backs and we win 10 in a row but it is so important we have Aymeric, Ferran, Eric and hopefully Nathan soon.

“We need them all for the amount of games. It means we can rotate important players and it is so important they came back and played so well.”

Check out Pep's full reaction in the video above!

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