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Man City: Guardiola dealt fitness worry before West Ham clash

Man City: Guardiola dealt fitness worry before West Ham clash -Manchester City News

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been dealt a fitness worry ahead of his team’s crucial clash with West Ham United today in the Premier League title race.

The Lowdown: Huge day for Man City…

The Sky Blues could take one gigantic leap towards retaining their top-flight crown and besting rivals Liverpool by beating David Moyes’ side at the London Stadium this afternoon.

City currently sit three points clear at the top of the table with a superior goal difference of seven compared to the Reds, and victory over the Hammers today would cement their place as overwhelming favourites to win the title heading into their last match of 2021/22.

After brushing aside both Newcastle United and Wolves in the last seven days, scoring 10 goals in total over the two matches, arguably their toughest remaining test looms at 2pm in east London .

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Guardiola has been forced to cope without star defenders Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker recently as the trio are ruled out for the rest of their title run-in.

To make matters more complicated, in their last match at Molineux, other crucial members of the squad in Aymeric Laporte, who was forced off due to a knee problem, and Fernandinho (muscle) came away with injury issues.

The Latest: Guardiola gives Laporte update…

Speaking to the press before his team’s trip to the capital, Guardiola has now confirmed that City could be without Laporte alongside their Brazilian veteran, with both doubtful to facve West Ham (Evening Standard).

A worry for City, the English champions could be without a plethora of first-team defensive options, but their manager refused to completely rule out their availability, claiming that they will be subject to checks today.

The Verdict: Potential major blow…

Being without Laporte in particular comes as a potentially major blow given just how crucial and reliable he has been this season.

The Spain international has even managed to keep Stones out of Guardiola’s starting XI time and time again this season despite his phenomenal partnership with Dias over the 2020/21 campaign.

Lauded as a ‘sensational‘ defender by national team boss Luis Enrique, Laporte has been a mainstay domestically, racking up the fifth-most league minutes out of any City player and starting on 31 different occasions (WhoScored).

A supreme ball-playing centre-back, the 27-year-old also has the highest passing accuracy (94.9%) in Guardiola’s squad – no easy feat in one of the world’s best tiki-taka teams.

Cityzens up and down the country will be hoping that he is indeed given the green light to play in what will be a pivotal game in this epic title race.

In other news: Man City set to move for ‘unbelievable’ star who’s turned Pep’s head, played his last game on Saturday night…find out more here

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