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Problems mount for Pep as he could miss two important players vs Chelsea and one of them is an injury doubt

Wembley Stadium England

On Saturday, Manchester City take on Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup and Guardiola might have to name a starting XI without Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland.

Both players could not complete 120 minutes during the Madrid game in midweek and after the defeat, Pep admitted that the duo had asked to be taken off. Now, speaking ahead of the trip to Wembley, the MCFC manager has confirmed that Erling Haaland is an injury doubt while KDB is yet to fully recover from the exhaustion.

“Kevin [De Bruyne] seems well,” Guardiola said[h/t The Standard]. “Erling [Haaland] felt something, a muscular issue. Kevin felt exhausted, so tired, after five months out injured, so that’s normal.

“We’ll see more tomorrow. [Haaland] A little bit niggles, a little bit problems, we will see his evolution in the next hours.

“It’s normal [to be tired] with the amount of games we’ve played this season and in the previous seasons. There’s not much time for recovery, we played extra-time and the intensity we play. We are not machines, the fatigue is there.”

“We don’t have an option, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We don’t have time to reflect, we’ll do that in the summertime. You compete to win, but sometimes you lose games, and that’s what happened.”

Kevin De Bruyne might not be able to complete the full 90 minutes on Saturday but the playmaker will be fit to face Chelsea but there are serious question marks over Haaland’s fitness. The Belgian international has been out for several weeks this season due to an injury so Guardiola will have to be careful that he does not pick up a stress injury.

Erling Haaland had to be taken off after just 91 minutes and if he is not 100% then there’s no way Pep will name him in the first XI. The Norwegian international has been brilliant this season but the striker has been a complete dud in the two games against Real Madrid so this isn’t actually the worst time to put him on the bench and hand Julian Alvarez a start.

Alvarez has been dependable whenever called upon and there’s a big chance that he is going to lead the line at Wembley. The Argentine has netted eight and assisted nine goals in the league this campaign and unlike Erling Haaland, Alvarez can roam all throughout the front line.

Hopefully, Haaland’s knock is not serious because Manchester City still have some important games to play in the Premier League but the two legs against Madrid were are rude wake-up call for the 23-year-old. This season, he’s netted 20 goals in 26 league appearances but against the big clubs, the goal-scoring sensation has gone missing completely.

Also, whenever KDB’s not been around, Erling Haaland has struggled for service so at this moment, Guardiola will want De Bruyne to be fit instead of his main striker.

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