MCFC will take on West Ham United this weekend in the Premier League and Pep Guardiola will be without some key players on Saturday.
The first big name missing is obviously Kevin De Bruyne who is out with a thigh injury for four to five months which means he is not going to be back before the new year.
Apart from KDB, Jack Grealish is also recovering muscle injury and he did not take part in England’s games during the international break and as per reports, he was not involved in the MCFC training this week which means he is a big question mark for the weekend.
Mateo Kovacic picked up a lower back injury while on international break and as per reports, he is set to be out for ten days.
His national team manager said: ‘He will have to undergo an MRI scan. He is threatened with a break of ten days, maybe longer.’
Kovacic’s injury is now a major problem, more so because John Stones is not expected to be fit in time because he was also not part of full-team training this week.
Stones has been missing for a long time and originally, the England international was supposed to be available after the international break. However, it does not look like he will be ready for the West Ham United game and that is a bit of a headache for the MCFC manager.
UPDATES ON MCFC injuries:
The MCFC manager has confirmed that Grealish, John Stones and Mateo Kovacic are all ruled out for the West Ham United clash.
He told the press on Friday: “They are both injured[Grealish & Stones]. They aren’t able for tomorrow. I don’t know (how long for) – I don’t think they will be ready for Red Star, but we will see, step by step.
“The injury for Jack is not muscular, but he has an incredible knock on his knee. Still the damage is there. John is still a little better, but has a disturbance in his muscles.”
On Kovacic’s injury, the manager has updated that the knock is not serious but Saturday’s game will come too early for him.
Pep added: “It is something muscular, and not a big issue but he’ll be out for tomorrow.”
How will Pep Guardiola set up his midfield against the Hammers?
John Stones had played as a defensive midfielder last season but both him and Kovacic are absent on Saturday which means either Pep Guardiola will have to chance his team’s shape(using Rodri as the lone holding midfielder) or he will have to hand a start to Matheus Nunes.
MCFC signed Nunes from Wolves in the summer but he is yet to feature for the club. Last season, he played 34 league games for Wolves so he has experience under his belt but there’s no denying that it will be a slight risk bringing him into the side against a positive-minded West Ham United side.
Rodri is comfortable playing as the only defensive midfielder and we think MCFC will use this formation on Saturday. A 4-1-4-1 formation is the major possibility which means Alvarez and Phil Foden are going to play as the two advanced midfielders while Silva and Jeremy Doku play as the two wide players.
The MCFC manager also has Kalvin Phillips in his squad but the England international has not succeeded at the club so there’s very little chance that he is going to be used this weekend.