Erling Haaland and John Stones have been ruled out of Saturday’s clash with Newcastle. The champions will face Eddie Howe’s side at St. James Park in their final game before their midseason break. But they will have to face the Magpies without two key players it has been revealed.
Pep Guardiola was asked during his pre-game press conference if Haaland would return to the City squad this weekend. The striker has returned to training but hasn’t come up in time to face Newcastle. He also informed the media that Jack Grealish had been battling illness and may feature tomorrow. Guardiola said: “No (when asked if Haaland would return). Jack (Grealish) has been sick. Hopefully today he’s back. Erling is out and John is out. I think that’s everything.”
There was no update as of yet on the status of Manuel Akanji. The versatile defender went off early in last weekend’s win over Huddersfield Town with a knee injury.
In positive news, the City boss believes Kevin De Bruyne is now ready to start games. After returning from a long injury layoff last weekend Guardiola told the media that the Belgian international could start tomorrow. Guardiola said: “Kevin De Bruyne is ready to start and I can see he is very good and the trip to Abu Dhabi will do him good too. I saw him yesterday and he feels good and dynamic. He played good, better than the sessions before Huddersfield. It was five months, he was high and low in training as he recovered which was normal but he’s getting better.”
With Erling Haaland and John Stones ruled out of tomorrow’s match it would appear that they both are set to return after City’s midseason training camp in Abu Dhabi. The pair now won’t be back on the pitch until after Manchester City’s mid season break .
De Bruyne being ready to start games is welcome news after his long-awaited return last weekend. If he makes the starting eleven won’t be known until the lineups are announced before kick-off tomorrow.