Manchester City are set to be without Ilkay Gundogan for Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Everton due to a groin injury.
Germany playmaker Gundogan has been in a rich vein of form during City’s ongoing 16-match winning run in all competitions.
A brace in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium took his 2020-21 goals tally to 13 – already the most prolific of the ex-Borussia Dortmund favourite’s career, with 11 of those coming in his past 15 appearances.
But Gundogan pulled up with a tight groin shortly after beating Hugo Lloris for a second time and City boss Pep Guardiola is unlikely to risk him at Goodison Park.
“Gundo is much better but don’t think he’s available tomorrow,” he told a pre-match news conference on Tuesday.
“Everyone else okay, except Nathan Ake.”
4 & 6 – İlkay Gündoğan has scored four goals in his last six Premier League matches, as many as he’d scored in his previous 55 games in the competition. His six goals in all competitions this season are his joint-most for the club in a single campaign. Technique. pic.twitter.com/mC4KzmD1nZ
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 17, 2021
Sergio Aguero was an unused substitute against Tottenham as he awaits a return from a bout of coronavirus, which arrived on the back of knee and hamstring injury woes for City’s all-time record goalscorer.
“Sergio has been one year injured, so he cannot start from the beginning. But he’s ready to come back. He was on the bench last game, he will be again,” said Guardiola.
“As soon as we believe he can start he is going to take minutes.”
City’s record-breaking run has come almost entirely without Aguero’s involvement, while Kevin De Bruyne has also been laid low by a hamstring injury over recent weeks.
The reigning PFA Players’ Player of the Year is back in training, however, and nearing a return.
“He’s getting better, really better,” said Guardiola, who also confirmed centre-back Ruben Dias was fit again following a sickness bug.
“Today Kevin did all the training with the group with all of us, so he’s feeling much better.”
Alternative highlights of a terrific win!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 15, 2021
The midweek trip to Merseyside is City’s game in hand on their nearest rivals at the summit, the originally scheduled fixture having been postponed in December due to a COVID-19 outbreak among Guardiola’s squad.
A win would take them 10 points clear of Manchester United and Leicester City but Guardiola is taking nothing for granted against Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
“Everton always has been one of the greatest teams in England,” the City boss added.
“This season has been much better than the previous seasons. It is normal, Carlo knows his players much better.
“Like all the teams, Manchester City included, they have good moments and bad moments. But the quality from Carlo is always there.”