Guardiola waits on Fernandinho as De Bruyne remains out

By Matt Dorman 26 April 2019 268
Guardiola waits on Fernandinho as De Bruyne remains out

Pep Guardiola confirmed Fernandinho is nursing a knee injury but did rule the influential holding midfielder out of Manchester City's Premier League clash against Burnley. 

Brazil international Fernandinho was due to undergo a scan on Thursday after limping out of the 2-0 derby win over Manchester United in midweek, which lifted Guardiola's men back to the top of the table – a point ahead of title rivals Liverpool with three games to play. 

City have not released the results of the injury assessment and will instead give the 33-year-old time to prove his fitness before the trip to Turf Moor on Sunday. 

Fernandinho's possible inclusion in the travelling party would serve as a major boost to the champions, who will again be without Kevin De Bruyne due to a hamstring issue. 

"We will see tomorrow," Guardiola said of Fernandinho's availability at Friday's pre-match news conference. 

"He has a problem with his knee, but we will see tomorrow [whether he can play]. 

"[De Bruyne is] still not fit. He's getting better, his clinical feeling is better, but he's still not ready." 

There are no such fitness concerns over centre-back John Stones despite his absence from the squad that took a potentially huge step towards the title at Old Trafford. 

The England international - a starter against Tottenham just four days earlier - made way for captain Vincent Kompany, while Nicolas Otamendi was preferred among the substitutes. 

"It was a decision based on what I saw," Guardiola said. 

"Nico has been incredible in the last few months. I try to involve everybody but for certain games we need specific qualities in defence and that is why I went with Vinny and Nico. 

"Vinny is a little bit quicker and has the personality to play at Old Trafford. He has played in a lot of derbies. 

"It also depends on what I see in the training sessions - who is happy, who is down - but not for the quality of the players [is anyone being left out]." 

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Matt Dorman