Pep Guardiola will be without the services of right-back Bacary Sagna for the away match against Southampton.
With the Premier League title almost a lost cause for them, Manchester City will now be looking to secure an automatic qualification berth for next season’s UEFA Champions League group stages.
However, it is far from a foregone conclusion, as the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool are all challenging for a top-four finish, so City know that there will be no room for complacency when they visit the St. Mary’s.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has rotated his side to a great extent this season and has used a number of different players as right-backs. However, for the game against Southampton, he will not be able to select Sagna as he is ruled out through injury.
He pulled out from the international squad in March, and scans later revealed that he suffered a tear in his left adductor muscle. Pablo Zabaleta also suffered an injury on international duty, but he recovered shortly as the impact was not as much as Sagna’s.
The Frenchman has been making decent progress and could return to first-team training shortly, but is definitely ruled out for Saturday’s game.
Guardiola has been handed a defensive boost in the form of the fitness of club captain Vincent Kompany. He played the entire 90 minutes against Chelsea, but appeared to have a minor concern after the game.
But he seems to have fought it off, and will be in contention to make his second start in three matches for the Citizens, as he missed out on the home win against Hull City. Speaking about the condition of the Belgian, Guardiola said (as per the club’s official website):
“After the game against Chelsea he had a little problem in his legs, and we didn’t want to take the risk, but of course the good news is he was able to play 90 minutes in a tough game at Stamford Bridge at a high level.”
The other absentees are new signings Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus. Both the players have spent a lengthy spell on the sidelines, and are expected to miss the remainder of the season.