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Dec 7, 2021 at 5.45pm UK at Red Bull Arena
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Man CityManchester City
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Pep Guardiola: 'Kevin De Bruyne will start against RB Leipzig'

Guardiola: 'De Bruyne will start against Leipzig'
© Reuters
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reveals that playmaker Kevin De Bruyne will start in their final Champions League group game against RB Leipzig on Tuesday night.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that playmaker Kevin De Bruyne will start in their final Champions League group game against RB Leipzig on Tuesday night.

After recovering from COVID-19, the 30-year-old made his first appearance for the Citizens since the international break in the 3-1 win against Watford last weekend, coming on as a substitute for the final 23 minutes.

When asked by the press ahead of their midweek clash in Germany if De Bruyne was fit to start, Guardiola said: "Yeah of course – Kevin and all of them.

"Kevin got [coronavirus] and was growing in his physical condition. But it is a setback because people who get [COVID-19] feel empty. But he will start tomorrow, and we will see how many minutes he can play.

"Now he has to fight for position like everyone. But he doesn't have to show anything to me. He has to show himself, that is it.

"The competition is so necessary and he knows it. Bernardo [Silva] knows it, [Ilkay Gundogan] knows it, the wingers know it. They have to play good; I know all of them. They don't have to show me who they are. They have to show themselves."

Guardiola has also confirmed that Gabriel Jesus – who is one booking away from a suspension – will stay in Manchester as a precaution, while five academy graduates will be selected in City's matchday squad.

"Josh [Wilson-Esbrand], Conrad [Egan-Riley], Romeo [Lavia], Cole [Palmer] and [James] McAtee – these five come with us. We have an incredible academy, and in some situations we call them.

"In this period, we had a lot of injuries and we need them. Romeo is training with us, and the other guys are. Sometimes they train less because they play with the second team. Macca and Cole were with the second team last time. It depends on the schedule.

"Now we have just Ferran [Torres out injured] and Gabriel [Jesus] cannot fly to Germany because of the [yellow] card in the last game. That's why he is not fit tomorrow. The rest are okay."

Man City have already qualified for the last 16 as group winners but will be hoping to extend their seven-game winning run across all competitions with another triumph in Tuesday's game behind closed doors.

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