Pep Guardiola confirms City blow as star man picks up injury before Manchester derby

Pep Guardiola with his head in his hands

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Manchester City star Ruben Dias has picked up an injury and revealed when the influential centre-back will return.

Dias joined City from Benfica in a £65million back in September 2020. He has proven to be an inspired signing, helping the Citizens to win last season’s Premier League title.

The 24-year-old’s solid displays in defence saw him pick up the Premier League Player of the Season award.

Dias remains an integral part of Guardiola’s team and has made 34 appearances so far this term, scoring twice. He has captained City on several occasions in the Premier League and Champions League.

City are currently preparing for a huge clash against rivals Manchester United on Saturday afternoon, which will take place at the Etihad.

But they will have to do it without Portugal international Dias, with Guardiola confirming the player’s injury at the pre-match press conference.

“Muscular. Hamstring. Four to six weeks. It happens,” Guardiola said (via the Manchester Evening News). “In other seasons our best players have been out for months. I’d love him but he’s not there, I will not cry. It is what it is.

City will ‘fight’ without Dias – Pep Guardiola

“We have decent players available. We have 14-15 players. With these players we are going to fight and try to play good.”

Fellow centre-half Nathan Ake will also miss the derby due to injury, meaning Guardiola will have to select Aymeric Laporte and John Stones.

On United boss Ralf Rangnick and his tactics, Guardiola said: “Rangnick is a father of the pressing, the transitions, playing inside.

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“You see with Liverpool and Southampton and now Jesse Marsch with Leeds, a little bit with [Thomas] Tuchel but he plays more wide.

“The work he [Rangnick] did in Germany is exceptional, a proper school of football, Leipzig, Austria, New York, all the teams play the same. He came here and you start to see some patterns of what he wants to do.”

Manager talks Cristiano Ronaldo threat

Guardiola was also asked about Red Devils forward Cristiano Ronaldo. “We have to explode our game and strength to avoid him close to the ball. The game we played there, we were under control, the first time he arrives Ederson made an incredible save. This is the quality he has.

“We have to control him. One of the greatest, a goalscoring machine, always he is so strong mentally. He handles this pressure without a problem, lives with expectation through his career in a positive way.”

Guardiola also provided an update on Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is having to cope with Russia’s invasion of his home country Ukraine.

“He’s involved incredibly in his country doing projects and many things. He sometimes updates us on the situation,” the coach said.

“He knows better than anyone else, he has family there. It’s getting worse, this situation is already 8, 9 days. Unfortunately it will be longer.”

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