Football: Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne out of next few games

LONDON • Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne will miss today's home Premier League game against Arsenal after picking up an injury on international duty with Belgium last weekend, manager Pep Guardiola said.

The midfielder was substituted in the second half of Belgium's 2-1 Nations League defeat by England at Wembley last Sunday and then withdrew from the national squad with an unspecified injury.

"The squad have come back a little better than the previous time. Unfortunately Kevin is out but the rest of the players came back well," Guardiola told reporters.

"I don't think it's much but the next games I think he will be out. We will see day by day how he is."

City have a busy fixture list, hosting Porto in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday before a league trip to West Ham the following Saturday. They then travel to Marseille for another group-stage game the Tuesday after.

Guardiola had better news on striker Sergio Aguero, City's record scorer, after the Argentinian returned to training following a knee injury in June.

"Sergio is training well and I'm so happy to see him on the pitch after such a long time," said the Spaniard. "Every team needs a striker and we have played without them the last two, three games."

Gabriel Jesus still has a muscle injury and Guardiola said he did not know when the striker might return.

Today's match is another clash between Guardiola, whose side have taken only four points from their first three matches, and his former assistant Mikel Arteta. But the City boss questioned any "master and apprentice" headlines.

"Maybe we should clarify who's the master and who's the apprentice first," he said. "He settled really well and the way his team is playing right now is perfect for the quality they have."

Arteta is hoping to have defender Kieran Tierney available as discussions over his need to self-isolate continue. Tierney and Ryan Christie were told to quarantine for 14 days after Scotland teammate Stuart Armstrong tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty. But both Tierney and Christie returned negative tests and have insisted they complied with social distancing guidelines.


Midfielder Kevin de Bruyne was replaced in Belgium's 2-1 Nations League loss to England at Wembley last Sunday. He then withdrew from the national squad with an unspecified injury. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Arteta refused to be drawn on whether deadline-day signing Thomas Partey will make his debut at City, given he is yet to train with his teammates. He also suggested teenage defender William Saliba would not be departing on loan.

Asked about facing Guardiola again following July's 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over City, he said: "I know him really well because we worked together for four years. We both know how we think.

"After (that) is to try to prevent them executing on the football pitch when everything is going a hundred miles an hour which is very difficult, much more difficult than just on tactics boards."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2020, with the headline 'De Bruyne out of next few games'. Print Edition | Subscribe