Manchester City suffer huge injury blow in Premier League title race against Arsenal

City looked destined to face Fulham on Saturday lunchtime with a fully fit squad but for Jack Grealish’s last-minute absence due to illness.

It’s a must-win clash in the title race for the side chasing a record-breaking fourth consecutive title as they have the chance to overtake Arsenal ahead of the Gunners’ clash with Manchester United on Sunday. They’ve played just two games all season with a fully healthy roster and will be hoping to do the same thing the second weekend.

However, when Gollali was not even in City’s starting XI or substitutes, Guardiola was forced to explain why. “Yes [he’s okay]”, confirmed the head coach. “He didn’t feel well at the last moment, a little uncomfortable, but he was fine.

Grealish had hoped to earn a starting spot at Craven Cottage after being named as a late substitute in Manchester City’s 5-1 win over Wolves seven days ago. His side have a crucial game against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, so it remains to be seen whether the winger can return in time. Guardiola’s side are just one point behind and have a smaller goal difference, so even a draw would swing the title race in the north Londoners’ favour.

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Guardiola also made one change to Fulham’s starting XI, with Kyle Walker making way for Ruben Dias, meaning Manu Akanji switched to right-back. He revealed the England international had a minor fitness issue in preparation for today’s match, but it was not major enough to rule him out of the matchday squad.

He replied: “Nothing specific. Kyle didn’t train the last two days. We have a game on Tuesday and Ruben is very reliable in these types of games. That’s why I decided to do it.”

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