MX23RW : Friday, January 18 01:53:48

Manchester City will not rush Kevin De Bruyne return

Man City will not rush De Bruyne return
© Reuters
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola talks up the importance of squad rotation in January, with Kevin De Bruyne expected to be slowly integrated back into the side.

Pep Guardiola has suggested that he will not rush Kevin De Bruyne back to full fitness, despite Manchester City's tough run of fixtures.

The Belgian playmaker, voted the Citizens' Player of the Year in 2017-18, has endured an injury-hit campaign this time around.

De Bruyne has made just two starts this term after suffering a couple of serious knee injuries, and he was not used in the league wins over Southampton and Liverpool either side of New Year's Day.

With a potential run of eight games in the next four weeks, Guardiola says that it will be a case of rotating his side to prevent fatigue kicking in

"I would like to have two months holiday right now," he told reporters. "This month is really tough but it is what it is. If you want to be a top, top club for organisation, you cannot deny any game or drop any competition.

"I don't know how far we are going to be because maybe the EFL Cup is not good for our recovery but it is what it is. We are going to play the next game against Rotherham like a final, like against Liverpool, knowing that if we go through we are still in the second most important competition here in England and that is going to happen.

"I don't think too much. We knew there were going to be a lot of games but everybody has a lot of games. The Premier League in December and January is so tough and demanding for everybody so we are not special like that.

"Of course, Liverpool is out of the Carabao Cup so they have more time to prepare for the Premier League. But it is what it is. So I prefer to be in that position. We have a big enough squad. Kevin De Bruyne is coming back. Ilkay Gundogan is coming back. Everybody is going to rotate and everybody is going to play. It's the only way."

After facing Rotherham United and Burton Albion in the FA Cup and EFL Cup respectively, City welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on January 14.


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A nonchalant Kevin De Bruyne is embraced from behind during the EFL Cup quarter-final game between Leicester City and Manchester City on December 18, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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