Guardiola waits on Fernandinho as De Bruyne remains out

By Matt Dorman 26 April 2019 7
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