Wed, 26 Jan 2022

Manchester [UK], December 6 (ANI): Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne will start Tuesday's UEFA Champions League trip to RB Leipzig.

The City boss also added that Gabriel Jesus will be sidelined as an injury precaution. Having recovered from a positive COVID-19 test which ruled him out for most of November, De Bruyne came on as a second-half substitute in Saturday's 3-1 win at Watford in the league.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of flying out to Germany with the City squad, the head coach revealed that the Belgian midfielder would start in City's final Group A fixture.

Asked if De Bruyne needed first-team minutes after being absent for a number of weeks, Guardiola said, as per the club's website: "Yeah of course - Kevin and all of them.""Kevin got Corona and was growing in his physical condition. But it is a setback because people who get Corona feel empty. But he will start tomorrow, and we will see how many minutes he can play. Now he has to fight for a position like everyone. But he doesn't have to show anything to me. He has to show himself, that is it."Jesus who picked up a knock in City's PL win over Watford after coming on as a late substitute will miss the midweek trip.

"Now we have just Ferran (Torres out injured) and Gabriel cannot fly to Germany because of the orange card in the last game. That's why he is not fit tomorrow. The rest are okay," Guardiola added.

With City already assured of top spot and a place in next Monday's last 16 draw, five Academy youngsters - CJ Egan-Riley, Cole Palmer, James McAtee, Romeo Lavia, and Josh Wilson-Esbrand - would also fly out as part of the first-team squad. (ANI)

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