Manchester City face Chelsea in the Champions League final in Portugal on May 29, but Pep Guardiola could be without as many as four key players for the showpiece occasion
Manchester City have been a significant injury scare ahead of the Champions League final against Chelsea.
The Premier League champions’ preparations for Europe’s showpiece occasion took a hit on Tuesday evening when they let a two-goal lead slip against Brighton and Hove Albion to lose 3-2.
But what will concern Pep Guardiola the most is the fitness of one of his key players.
Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan who opened the scoring at the AMEX Stadium after just two minutes saw his involvement ended prematurely as he had to be replaced by Fernandinho early in the second half as Guardiola took no chances.
As reported by the Manchester Evening News, Gundogan was able to walk off the field himself which may come as a relief to the City coaching staff.
Although, the Germany international’s early departure from the penultimate game of the Premier League season will raise concerns ahead of the Champions League final that takes place against Chelsea in less than two weeks.
Speaking after the loss to Brighton, Guardiola did explain the substitution.
“He was injured a little bit. It was a kick, he started the second half and had niggles in his muscle because he couldn’t run properly,” Guardiola revealed. “That’s why we made the substitution.”
City wrap up their Premier League campaign against Everton on Sunday, and it remains to be seen whether Gundogan will be able to feature.
With that said, the midfielder is not the only injury worry facing Guardiola ahead of the Champions League final.
The Man City matchday squad at the AMEX Stadium did not feature Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker or Sergio Aguero and as revealed by the club’s official website, the reason for the trio’s absences is because they were not fully fit.
“Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker and Sergio Aguero are not fully fit,” a statement reads.