Men's Team

RB Leipzig v City: Guardiola provides De Bruyne and Jesus update

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne will start Tuesday’s Champions League trip to RB Leipzig but that Gabriel Jesus will be sidelined as an injury precaution.

Having recovered from a positive COVID-19 test which ruled him out for most of November, De Bruyne came on as a second half substitute in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Watford.

And speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of flying out to Germany with the City squad, the boss revealed that the Belgian midfielder would start in our final Group A fixture.

With City already assured of top spot and a place in next Monday’s last 16 draw, the boss also revealed that five Academy youngsters – CJ Egan-Riley, Cole Palmer, James McAtee, Romeo Lavia and Josh Wilson-Esbrand - would also fly out as part of the first team squad.

But Jesus will not be with the party having picked up a knock in that win over Watford after also coming on as a late substitute.

Asked if De Bruyne needed first team minutes after being absent for a number of weeks, the boss said: “Yeah of course - Kevin and all of them.

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“Kevin got Corona and was growing in his physical condition. But it is a setback because people who get Corona feel empty. But he will start tomorrow, and we will see how many minutes he can play.

“Now he has to fight for position like everyone. But he doesn't have to show anything to me. He has to show himself, that is it.

“The competition is so necessary and he knows it. Bernardo knows it, Gundo knows it the wingers know it. They have to play good; I know all of them. They don't have to show me who they are. They have to show themselves.”

Guardiola had already suggested he would monitor his players in training ahead of deciding on his potential line-up for Tuesday’s match as well as weighing up the option of potentially offering more key minutes for our youngsters.

And he added that the match, which will be played behind closed doors at the RB Arena due to COVID-19 safety precautions - could be another huge learning opportunity for City’s exciting crop of young talent.

“Josh, CJ, Romeo, Cole and McAtee - these five come with us,”Guardiola added.

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"We have an incredible Academy, and in some situations we call them.

“On the one side it was a pity because we have a good Academy but Sam Edozie and Liam Delap injured.

"We called some of them but for the second team, we made them weaker in Europe (in the UEFA Youth League). But the most important thing is the first team.

“It’s good for them to see how you behave.

"It's an incredible experience in Europe, maybe tomorrow some can play minutes. We have five substitutions and maybe we can use them.

“In this period, we had a lot of injuries and we need them. Romeo is training with us, and the other guys are. Sometimes they train less because they play with the second team. Macca and Cole were with the second team last time. It depends on the schedule.

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“Now we have just Ferran (Torres out injured) and Gabriel cannot fly to Germany because of the orange card in the last game. That's why he is not fit tomorrow. The rest are okay.

“We play to improve our style tomorrow because we don't need the points.

“It’s the perfect game for us.

“We travel to Germany, do a good dinner tonight to celebrate our qualification in the Champions League."

RB Leipzig v City 

City face Leipzig on Tuesday, with kick off at 17:45 (UK). 

We will have full coverage on the official Man City app.

Everything you need to stay close to the action is available all in one place.

Minute-by-minute text updates get under way at 15:45 (UK), with team news, analysis and all the latest opinion.

Our Matchday Live show will start just before 16:35 (UK). Joining presenter Natalie Pike in the studio are former City stars Richard Dunne and Nedum Onuoha to keep you entertained right up until kick off. 

They will then reconvene for a quick half-time debrief before a more in-depth post-match verdict, including their reaction to the full-time thoughts of Pep Guardiola and a player. 

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The guests will also answer viewer questions throughout the broadcast, with audience participation actively encouraged on Matchday Live. To get in touch, send a WhatsApp to: +447537186538.

And there will be live commentary throughout the 90 minutes, too, with Alistair Mann and Michael Brown in position to guide you through the game.

Download the Man City app now and you won’t miss a beat. Don’t forget to turn push notifications on, that way you’ll get reminders of everything as the day unfolds.

And our Man City app coverage doesn’t end there…

Highlights of the game will be made available for free at 23:00 and CITY+ subscribers can watch a full 90-minute replay of the game at midnight.

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