City march on

Guardiola’s men of course returned to Premier League action on Wednesday evening, in a meeting with Aston Villa at the Etihad.

The hosts headed into proceedings aware that a win would, temporarily at least, guide them back to the summit of the English top-flight, amid a fine recent spell of form.

And, when all was said and done in Manchester, secure their latest 3-point haul is precisely what City managed.

A thoroughly entertaining affair, during which the two sides exchanged chances throughout, eventually saw the Sky Blues emerge on the right side of a 2-0 scoreline.

Bernardo Silva opened the evening’s scoring in controversial circumstances ten minutes from time, before Ilkay Gundogan made sure of a City victory with 90 minutes on the clock, from the penalty spot.

Should #MCFC‘s first goal have stood?

Watch highlights as Bernardo Silva scores his first goal since July and Ilkay Gundogan doubles #MCFC‘s lead to lift them above #MUFC and #LCFC to top the Premier League table ⬇️

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 20, 2021

KDB ruled out

Whilst the eventual result on Wednesday proved of a positive nature for City, however, they were also dealt a couple of concerning blows on the personnel front.

Stopper Kyle Walker was forced off late on in proceedings at the Etihad, with Guardiola having revealed his hope post-match that the problem was ‘just a kick’.

Much more concerning, though, was Kevin De Bruyne’s exit from the clash.

The Belgian pulled up with what appeared to be a muscle problem, leading to immediate concerns surrounding a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

And, as outlined above, such fears have today been realised.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of City’s FA Cup meeting with Cheltenham on Saturday evening, Pep Guardiola was inevitably drawn on De Bruyne’s wellbeing.

And the Spanish tactician went on to confirm that his side’s midfield fulcrum has indeed picked up a hamstring issue, which is set to rule him out for somewhere between four and six weeks:

Pep confirms De Bruyne out for four to six weeks

— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) January 22, 2021

In the case that De Bruyne is ruled out for a full six weeks, he is in line to miss as many as 10 of his side’s fixtures.

This includes crucial showdowns with Liverpool, Tottenham, Borussia Monchengladbach and potentially even the Manchester derby at the beginning of March.

City’s next 10 fixtures, in order:

Cheltenham, West Brom, Sheffield United, TBD, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Borussia Monchengladbach (Champions League last-16), West Ham, Manchester United.

Worst case scenario with Kevin de Bruyne would rule him out for a minimum 10 matches, inc Champions League last-16 first-leg.

— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) January 22, 2021

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