Manchester City could be without three key players for their top-of-the-table Premier League clash against Liverpool on 25 November.
The top two go head to head on the weekend after the international break, with both having the opportunity to lay down a serious statement of intent in what’s shaping up to be a thrilling title race.
As per Liverpool Echo, Pep Guardiola might have to plan without several prominent members of his squad. Kevin De Bruyne continues to be sidelined with an ongoing hamstring injury, while the manager has admitted to being unsure of John Stones will be fit enough to feature against the Reds.
City are also sweating on the fitness of Ederson, who was forced to pull out of the Brazil squad with a foot injury, ironically paving the way for Alisson Becker to get the nod between the sticks in the Selecao’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
With De Bruyne valued at €70m (£61m) by Transfermarkt, and Ederson and Stones each boasting a €40m (£35m) market value, that’s £131m of talent of which Man City could be deprived for Liverpool’s visit to the Etihad Stadium in 11 days’ time.
The Reds aren’t without their own injury worries – Andy Robertson and Thiago Alcantara are definite absentees, while Ryan Gravenberch, Ibrahima Konate and Curtis Jones have all missed recent fixtures – but Guardiola will certainly rue not having a key player in three different lines of the pitch to call upon if the aforementioned trio are ruled out.
A meeting of the teams in first and second, who’ve won the last six Premier League titles between them, should ideally feature a glittering array of talent on both sides. However, while there’ll be no shortage of world-class players involved, the fixture would feel slightly diluted if several big names are sidelined.
City and Liverpool aren’t alone in having to contend with extensive injury lists, which poses the question as to whether too much is being asked of elite-level footballers in the modern era in terms of the workload being imposed on them by avaricious governing bodies with scant regard for player welfare.
Whoever is fit enough to take to the field at the Etihad on 25 November, let’s hope for a memorable game of football between two top-class sides – and, of course, for an overdue Reds win at the home of their title rivals!