As Premier League champions Manchester City gear up for one of their most important clashes of the season away to Liverpool, Pep Guardiola has been dealt a big injury blow.
The Lowdown: Gundogan shines for City…
Over the 2020/21 season, it’s safe to say that midfield star Ilkay Gundogan dazzled for City as one of their outstanding and most crucial players.
Playing in a new, more advanced role under Guardiola, the Germany international would drift into pockets of space around the opposition penalty area and utilise his creativity to devastating effect at times.
So much so, as the Sky Blues coped without a recognised centre-forward for much of the campaign, that Gundogan finished last year as City’s top goalscorer in all competitions with 17.
The 30-year-old’s exploits even earned him a place in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year alongside fellow City stars Ederson Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Ruben Dias and Kevin de Bruyne.
However, ahead of City’s trip to Anfield, it appears that Guardiola will have to cope without his presence as he shares an update.
The Latest: Guardiola dealt Gundogan blow…
Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Liverpool match today, Guardiola dropped an update on Gundogan’s injury situation and confirmed that he will be unavailable to take on the Reds.
He is joined by Oleksandr Zinchenko on the treatment table, with both men still unable to play any part.
“Everyone is fit except Zinchenko and Gundogan,” said the City manager (via mancity.com).
“We expect both back after the international break, hopefully.”
The Verdict: Big blow…
Going by his outstanding contribution for City last year, missing Gundogan’s presence for a game of this magnitude will come as a big blow for Guardiola.
One silver lining for the Sky Blues is how well they coped without the midfielder during their last Premier League outing at European champions Chelsea – a match the visitors largely dominated and eventually won 1-0.
Lauded as an ‘unbelievable’ player by Match of the Day pundit and English football legend Alan Shearer (via Manchester Evening News), it will be interesting to see whether Gundogan’s absence proves a problem today.
In other news: ‘No way’, ‘Get him gone’, ‘Sell’…Man City fans erupt over news on their £300,000-per-week star, find out more here.
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