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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
1Liverpool34267177205785
2Manchester CityMan City33272486226483
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs332211064343067
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Leicester CityLeicester34145154645147
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33138124142-147
9Everton34137144644246
10Watford33137134748-146
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham34126164252-1042
12Bournemouth34125174961-1241
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Burnley34116174260-1839
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle34108163243-1138
16Southampton3399153954-1536
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3396183253-2133
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3455243276-4420
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3435261967-4814

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