Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte have been excluded from the Man City squad to face RB Leipzig in the 1st leg of the Champions League Round of 16 due to illness.
This comes as a big blow for the Premier League champions, considering how key both were set to be in the upcoming tie. There was a possibility that the latter would have started in defence, despite being largely culpable for Nottingham Forest’s late equaliser, while the former was also far from his devastating best on Saturday.
Now, Pep Guardiola has said that both Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte will be unavailable to go head-to-head against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Pep Guardiola on Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte exclusions from Man City squad vs RB Leipzig
Ultimately, this revelation is not the best piece of news, especially considering the threat posed by the German side, who are just 4 points off top spot in the Bundesliga at 5th place.
When quizzed about the reasons behind Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte being unavailable to even be in the Man City squad, Pep Guardiola told Manchester Evening News, “Kevin and Laporte, illness. I don’t know [if they will be available against Bournemouth on Saturday].”
On whether it is a blow, the Spaniard replied, “Both, it is what [it] is during the season, unfortunately. He didn’t feel good right after the game with Forest on Sunday, yesterday Aymer didn’t feel good. It happens sometimes.”
Who could start instead of them?
After an ‘unnaceptable’ result, as per Kyle Walker against Forest, the Sky Blues will be raring to make a statement on Wednesday.
With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte being unavailable for Man City and Pep Guardiola against Leipzig, it seems likely that Nathan Ake will come in for the latter for starters, with Bernardo Silva potentially keeping his place at left-back.
As for De Bruyne, it seems unlikely that Phil Foden will be handed the reins to play instead of him as a No.10, considering the Catalan commented about his lack of composure recently via Beanyman Sports, with perhaps Julian Alvarez starting in a two-striker setup.