Mens Team

City v Fulham: Injury update

PRE-MATCH: Pep Guardiola addresses the media ahead City's game against Fulham.
Benjamin Mendy and John Stones have recovered from injury and are fit enough to return for Manchester City against Fulham on Sunday.

A leg problem kept Stones out of the midweek win over Sheffield United, which Mendy also missed with a muscular issue, but Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Leroy Sane aside, he has a full squad to choose from ahead our FA Cup fourth round tie against the Cottagers.

The City boss refused to be drawn on whether he would make changes for the game, but says his expectations over the quality of performance remain the same regardless of who is selected.

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“Leroy is not fit,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “The other ones are good.

“It doesn't matter who we play, we just have to make sure we are good. Always when I name a team, they have the responsibility to win - it doesn't matter my selection.”

The return of Aymeric Laporte has bolstered Guardiola’s options at centre-half, where injuries have allowed him to blood Academy graduate Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

With the Frenchman now available alongside Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho, the Stockport-born centre-half’s first-team opportunities may now be more limited, but Pep is not expecting him to go on loan.

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“We didn't speak about that but, no, I think he will stay until the end of the season,” he explained.

“If he had an offer from the Premier League, maybe we would consider it for his development, but I don’t know about that..

“The best for the players in the second team is to go to as high a team as possible. Playing in the Premier League is better than the Championship.

“We will see. Each player has different perspectives and different approaches.”

Meanwhile, the 49-year-old also revealed City will remain in Manchester during the Premier League’s first ever winter break.

After a busy eight-game January, the defending champions will be without a fixture on the weekend of 15/16 February and Guardiola will be allowing his players a short break from training.

“We’ll have a few days off and then train again,” added the Catalan. “Three or four days off and then we’ll train for Leicester and Arsenal.

“I want the guys to stay with their families. In this case I decided to be here.”

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