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Brentford v City: Guardiola provides team news update

Brentford v City: Guardiola provides team news update
Pep Guardiola says he will wait until Wednesday before finalising his team plans for City’s midweek trip to Brentford.

The Premier League leaders will step out at the Brentford Community Stadium seeking to record what would be a 10th successive league success.

However, ahead of what will be our eighth game in a hugely demanding December schedule, the boss revealed that injuries – as well as COVID-19 concerns – would both be key factors in his selection plans.

And with a host of Premier League clubs having had fixtures postponed this month because of rising COVID-19 cases, Guardiola said his team preparations were being overseen on a day-to-day basis right now.

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“I don't know. Tomorrow we'll see,” Guardiola said when asked if he would make changes for the Brentford game.

“With this situation with COVID you arrive and then in this period it’s: ‘Oh this player cannot play’, or ‘This player is injured.’ On Monday we did recovery, then Tuesday travel to London and on the day of the game we will see.

“In that moment we will pay attention to the quality that Brentford have and after we are going to take the decisions. Right now I don't know.”

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The boss did confirm that both Kyle Walker and John Stones were not fit to be selected in Boxing Day’s impressive 6-3 win over Leicester.

Walker is also mourning the loss of close personal friend Dom Yarwood who tragically passed away earlier this month.

“Of course, we are all sad for the tragedy of Kyle’s close friend passing away, but right now he cannot be with us because he is not fit and this is all I can say,” Guardiola added.

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“John Stones was injured (for the Leicester game).”

Looking further ahead, Guardiola’s selection options will also be affected by the loss of Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez who is set to fly to Africa early in the New Year to take part in the 2022 African Cup of Nations finals with his national side.

And the boss admitted City will miss the presence of Mahrez who is currently our top scorer this season with 12 goals to his name.

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“Of course, I miss all the players, like Kyle, like John, like Riyad when he will not be here, and Kevin (De Bruyne) when he was injured and we had to wait for him and wait for him to come back at his best condition,” Guardiola added.

“I need all of them.”

Promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history last summer, Brentford have made a fine fist of things so far this term.

Thomas Frank’s side currently sit in 14th place and Guardiola said he knew City were in for a tough test on our maiden trip to the Brentford Community Stadium.

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“He (Frank) made an incredible start to the season, (they are) doing really well,” the boss added.

“I saw the Carabao Cup game against Chelsea...wow, they lost but they were incredible. They drew against Liverpool, they beat Arsenal.

“They are a top team, we know it and we will prepare seeing how is the quality of our players right now to try and do it.”

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