Manchester City are without the injured Kevin De Bruyne for the derby against Manchester United, with captain Harry Maguire passed fit for the hosts.

De Bruyne suffered a shoulder injury after coming off the bench during last week's 2-1 EFL Cup final win over Aston Villa.

Pep Guardiola has opted not to risk the Belgium playmaker – whose 26 Premier League appearances this season have yielded eight goals and 16 assists – as City head into a busy period, including the return leg of their Champions League last-16 showdown with Real Madrid.

Maguire rolled his ankle in training this week and sat out the FA Cup win at Derby County but returns alongside Aaron Wan-Bissaka (back) and Daniel James (knock).

United are unbeaten in nine matches across all competitions but have only won one of the past eight Premier League derbies at Old Trafford.

Boyhood City fan Phil Foden, man of the match at Wembley last weekend, enjoys his first start in the fixture, while right-back Joao Cancelo features in a Premier League starting XI for the first time since mid-January.

Manchester City could let Sergio Aguero leave at the end of the season, according to a report.

City were handed a two-season Champions League ban last month over Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches, although they are appealing the ruling.

However, that could lead to a big-name exit at the end of the campaign.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY COULD LET AGUERO LEAVE AT END OF SEASON

Manchester City are willing to let Aguero go if they fail to overturn the European ban, according to The Sun.

The report says the 31-year-old Argentina forward would be allowed to leave if he indicated he wanted to do so despite being contracted until 2021.

Aguero is the Premier League club's all-time leading goalscorer and is enjoying another fine campaign, netting 23 times in 29 games.

 

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- Luka Jovic has struggled at Real Madrid and could be set for a switch. AS reports Napoli are considering a move for the 22-year-old forward, who has scored just twice this season after joining Madrid for a reported €60million from Eintracht Frankfurt.

- Chelsea seem ready to move on from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Daily Express reports the Premier League club have been alerted to the potential availability of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is said to be weighing up his future at Barcelona. The Mirror reports Chelsea are monitoring Dean Henderson, who has impressed on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United.

- Also at Stamford Bridge, The Mirror reports Tammy Abraham has rejected a contract offer from Chelsea. Abraham – who has 15 goals this season – has a deal until 2022 but reportedly wants fresh terms similar to the club's other stars before recommitting.

- Looking to strengthen their defence, Manchester City are prepared to spend £80m (€92.5m) on Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, according to the Daily Express.

- With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang perhaps set for an Arsenal exit, CalcioMercato reports Inter are considering a move for the forward, who played for AC Milan's youth team but never made an appearance for the senior side.

- Everton are eyeing a move for Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin in the close season, according to The Sun.

Pep Guardiola has been surprised by the distance between Manchester City and Manchester United since his arrival in the Premier League but suggested Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could return the Old Trafford club to their former glories.

Last weekend's 2-1 EFL Cup final win over Aston Villa at Wembley was Guardiola's sixth major honour at City, with all of those coming after a trophy-less debut at the helm in 2016-17.

United were runners-up to City in the following campaign, albeit 19 points adrift as their neighbours ran up a record 100 points.

That dominant showing gave a lopsided feel to the rivalry between Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, who competed so compellingly when in charge of Barcelona and Real Madrid almost a decade ago.

Mourinho was shown the door by United midway through last season, paving the way for fans' favourite Solskjaer to return to the club as his unlikely successor.

Heading into Sunday's derby at Old Trafford, United lie fifth, 15 points shy of second-placed City and aiming to seal a top-four finish for only the third time since Alex Ferguson called time on his generation-defining tenure in 2013.

"I never expected this position in the previous seasons when I arrived here in England, to have this distance against United in these three or four years," Guardiola said, before warmly praising an opposite number enjoying a run of nine games unbeaten across all competitions.

"The quality of United, no doubts about how big it is, I appreciate the manager a lot. I think he represents United in an exceptional way and I think the players, when you analyse individually and collectively, they are so good.

"Always I believe that the managers and the clubs need time to implant, to build something the manager and the club believe.

"Unfortunately the results sometimes take the decision to break that process. I am not there, I am not part of United, but what I feel is that people believe in Ole and I think he is doing a really good job.

"It is not about the tactics sometimes; it is about [the feel], how the players follow the manager."

City boast a superb record at Old Trafford over recent years, winning six and drawing one of their past eight Premier League visits – including three from three under Guardiola.

They also ran out 3-1 winners in the first leg of January's EFL Cup semi-final, although United set nerves jangling as they won the return 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium to follow up an authoritative 2-1 triumph in east Manchester a month earlier.

Long-term United injury victim Marcus Rashford has scored home and away against City this season and boasts four goals in the fixture overall.

Nevertheless, Guardiola takes no comfort from the England forward's absence and knows a United attack recently bolstered by Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo retains plenty of potency.

"I have always said, since the first day I became a manager, that I like to play against a full squad from my opponents," Guardiola said. "I would love to play against [Eden] Hazard at the Bernabeu. I don't like to see Rashford out or [Harry] Kane for Tottenham.

"Hopefully he can recover as quickly as possible. I would have preferred if he had played for them."

Guardiola added: "I don't think, not even for a half second, that he is not there. I think about [Anthony] Martial, [Daniel] James, Fernandes and Ighalo if he plays. And the way [Solskjaer] plays - three or four different types of systems."

Pep Guardiola insisted Bruno Fernandes was not a target for Manchester City before the Portuguese midfielder joined Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Fernandes swapped Sporting CP for United in a £47million deal during the January transfer window and he has transformed the Red Devils.

The 25-year-old Portugal international has already scored three goals across all competitions – two of those in the Premier League while supplying as many assists.

Amid Fernandes' stunning start to life in Manchester, City manager Guardiola said his team were never interested in the former Sporting captain.

"I said many times it looks like we are linked with a thousand million players every month," Guardiola told reports ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby at Old Trafford. "I don't know if the agents want to create something to do that.

"But I think the club was not in talks with his agent about this player, but they link this guy and a thousand million more."

Guardiola added: "I don't know what it means 'my type of player'. I like defenders too and good headers.

"I don't believe too much that these players are perfect for this team and manager. But I think he is an exceptional player and that is why Man United bought him."

City travel to Old Trafford in second position, 15 points clear of fifth-placed United – who are in the midst of a nine-match unbeaten streak in all competitions.

Kevin De Bruyne's shoulder injury is still "not perfect" and he remains a doubt for the derby between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford.

The Belgian missed the FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday in midweek having banged his shoulder in the closing stages of City's EFL Cup final victory over Aston Villa at Wembley.

Manager Pep Guardiola revealed after the fifth-round success at Hillsborough that he was unsure if De Bruyne would be available to face United on Sunday and, two days out from that derby, he was still none the wiser.

"He's getting better," Guardiola said.

"Today we didn't train, tomorrow he will improve. I spoke this morning with the physio and he said it feels better. Not perfect, but feels better. We will see."

One player who definitely will not feature at Old Trafford is winger Leroy Sane.

The Germany international has been sidelined since August when he damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, though he has been back in training for almost a month and featured for City's development squad against Arsenal last week.

However, the possibility of Sane making his first-team comeback for City's senior side this weekend was dismissed by Guardiola.

"No. Like I said in the previous press conference, he's making a big, big process," Guardiola added.

"But still he's not 100 per cent fit and he has to be ready and fit to play official games right now.

"I think weeks and games [with the development squad] of course will be good.

"He will feel first himself the way he moves in the training session because every week he is getting better and after I will try to give him minutes to get back as soon as possible. But for this game he is not ready."

Given City are 22 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool but are still virtually assured of a top-four finish, there is arguably more riding on the game for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men are fifth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, yet Guardiola urged his players not to take the fixture lightly.

"When we believe that it's more important for them than us, we are going to lose the game," he said.

"You have to find some way to believe it's important.

"What I saw in videos, in the games, the players follow [Solskjaer], absolutely, the commitment they have and it's getting better.

"Right now maybe is their best moment in the season."

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer slammed a fixture schedule that has given his team 24 hours less recovery time for Sunday's derby showdown with Manchester City than their rivals.

United progressed to the FA Cup quarter-finals by easing to a 3-0 victory at Derby County on Thursday, a day on from City also seeing off Championship opposition in the form of Sheffield Wednesday to reach the last eight.

Solskjaer suggested this arrangement handed an unfair advantage to Pep Guardiola's side, who have won their past three Premier League trips across town.

"It's that help we get from the FA, that extra 24 hours that they've had," he said.

"I cannot believe – there's a derby on Sunday and we've got to play on Thursday night. What's the point in that?

"That doesn't level the playing field. It was the same when we beat them last time, we played Wednesday and they played Tuesday, so we've got to be good at recovering now.

"I don't think we can [complain about it] it's one of those where you get told when you're going to play. We've not got any help before this one."

The victory Solskjaer referred to was a 2-1 triumph at the Etihad Stadium in December that came on the back of a midweek assignment at home to Tottenham.

Indeed, the recent history of this fixture tends to favour the away side.

United were 1-0 winners at City in January – an ultimately futile victory as it failed to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit in the semi-final of the EFL Cup, which their neighbours went on to win for a third successive season last weekend.

Guardiola's men ran riot to rack up a 3-0 half-time advantage in the initial game, with some wasteful finishing meaning strikes from Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal amounted to the Red Devils getting off relatively lightly.

Solskjaer feels his players were too eager to recover from the initial setback of Silva's long-range opener and urged them to display emotional control on this occasion.

"Our heads went for a spell there, thinking that we had to recover the game in 10 minutes," he said.

"You don't have to do that when it's a cup competition and two games. We've learned from that one definitely.

"When you're at home and you have to open up against a team like Man City, they will exploit that if you're not 100 per cent.

"Sometimes, being at home with your fans you want to show them what you can do and beat your opponent. Sometimes you open too many spaces and that's what we did for 10, 15 or 20 minutes after they scored a worldy.

"It wasn't a problem before Bernardo scored in the top corner, that wasn't an issue until our heads went for a little while.

"We have to control our emotions more. We have learnt and that's an experience that we'll bring into this game, definitely."

United head into the weekend fifth in the Premier League, three points shy of fourth-place Chelsea, although their current position will be enough to secure Champions League football if City's two-season ban from UEFA competitions is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport before next term.

Manchester United boast a pair of Manchester derby victories this season on enemy turf at the Etihad Stadium – triumphing 2-1 in the Premier League in December before a 1-0 win was not quite enough to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final.

At Old Trafford, though, the recent Premier League history of the fixture has served up a far more unpalatable reality for the Red Devils.

A 2-1 win in 2008 was City's first success at their great rivals' ground for 34 years, but a trio of United wins followed, culminating in Wayne Rooney's unforgettable overhead kick to claim three points on the way to the 2010-11 Premier League title.

Since then it has been a very different story and here we look back at the woeful run of form Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team will hope to overturn in Sunday's league clash.

 

MANCHESTER UNITED 1-6 MANCHESTER CITY (OCTOBER 23, 2011)

The game that emphatically announced a power shift in Manchester was on the cards. Mario Balotelli came, saw, conquered and had the "Why Always Me" T-shirt to prove it with goals either side of forcing Jonny Evans into a red card. Sergio Aguero capped a scintillating team move to make it 3-0 before Darren Fletcher's excellent finish persuaded Alex Ferguson's depleted side to chase the game in foolhardy fashion.

David Silva slotted in to split a brace from substitute Edin Dzeko and a derby demolition was complete. The margin of victory continued to resonate at the end of the campaign as City pipped United to the title on goal difference.

MANCHESTER UNITED 1-2 MANCHESTER CITY (APRIL 8, 2013)

Ferguson's side responded to that disappointment with a dominant campaign to earn their boss one more Premier League crown. The destination of the title was already a formality before City arrived for the derby, in which Aguero came off the bench to ram a brilliant solo strike into the roof of the net and settle the match. A Vincent Kompany own goal had briefly cancelled out James Milner's deflected second-half opener.

MANCHESTER UNITED 0-3 MANCHESTER CITY (MARCH 25, 2014)

A result that arguably marked the nadir of David Moyes' ill-fated stint as Ferguson's successor. Nine days on from Liverpool easing to a comprehensive 3-0 win at Old Trafford, City followed suit. There was little doubt over the outcome after Dzeko struck in the first minute. The Bosnian star also volleyed in a 56th-minute corner before Yaya Toure contributed to a personal 20-goal tally that proved pivotal to securing the title for Manuel Pellegrini's City.

MANCHESTER UNITED 4-2 MANCHESTER CITY (APRIL 12, 2015)

When Aguero tapped in from Silva's pass inside the first 10 minutes, another City procession looked on the cards. But United roared back in ferocious fashion. Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini ensured Louis van Gaal's team were ahead at the break before Juan Mata scampered through a scattered defence to get in on the act and Chris Smalling powered in number four. Aguero's 100th goal in City colours late on was scant consolation.

MANCHESTER UNITED 0-0 MANCHESTER CITY (OCTOBER 25, 2015)

Pellegrini and Van Gaal departed at the end of the 2015-16 season with their sides separated in fourth and fifth position respectively by goal difference, claiming hauls of 66 points after failing to win half of their matches. This forgettable stalemate was very much in keeping with that tepid overall offering. United substitute Jesse Lingard hit the crossbar late on.

MANCHESTER UNITED 1-2 MANCHESTER CITY (SEPTEMBER 10, 2016)

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho stepped into the breach to elevate the Manchester rivalry once more and City threatened to run away with the reunion of the old Clasico foes. Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho established a first-half advantage, but an error by City debutant Claudio Bravo saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic reduce the arrears – paving the way for a tense and combative second half.

MANCHESTER UNITED 1-2 MANCHESTER CITY (DECEMBER 10, 2017)

Having competed at a distance from champions Chelsea in 2016-17, City and United were the frontrunners this time around. Set-piece frailties from the hosts saw the dominance of Guardiola's team in open play rewarded, with Silva and Nicolas Otamendi the beneficiaries. Marcus Rashford fleetingly had United level, but their rivals opened an 11-point lead at the summit and would go on to win the league with a record-breaking 100 points.

MANCHESTER UNITED 0-2 MANCHESTER CITY (APRIL 24, 2019)

City were being pushed all the way to glory by Liverpool last season and tension in the ranks was clear during a goalless first half. Bernardo Silva found the breakthrough and substitute Leroy Sane blasted through David de Gea's near-post efforts to ensure Solskjaer's first outing as a coach in the fixture ended in defeat.

Barcelona know what they want to do with Philippe Coutinho should the attacker return to the club from Bayern Munich.

Coutinho is on a season-long loan at the Bundesliga club, who have an option to buy the Brazil international at the end of the campaign.

But Barca reportedly already have plans in place if the 27-year-old comes back to Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PLAN TO USE COUTINHO AS MAKEWEIGHT IF HE RETURNS

Barcelona will use Coutinho as a makeweight in any of the huge deals they are planning in the close season, according to Sport.

The LaLiga giants are reportedly again targeting Neymar, who was linked with a return but ended up staying at Paris Saint-Germain last year.

PSG and Liverpool are rumoured to be interested in Coutinho, although Bayern have a €120million option to buy the playmaker.

ROUND-UP

- Juventus' interest in Mauro Icardi is ongoing. CalcioMercato reports Juve still want the forward, who is on loan at PSG from Inter, with the Ligue 1 club holding a €70m purchase option. Goal reports Juventus are also monitoring Santos teenager Kaio Jorge, who has a €50m release clause.

- Linked with a move to Bayern Munich, Leroy Sane may yet remain at Manchester City. The Telegraph reports the attacker, who has been sidelined with a serious knee injury, will consider staying at the Premier League club beyond this season.

- Hirving Lozano's Napoli stay may be short-lived. Corriere dello Sport reports Atletico Madrid have their sights set on the Mexico international, who is out of favour under Gennaro Gattuso in his first season at the Serie A club.

- Having dealt with defensive problems this season, Manchester City seemingly have a solution in mind. CalcioMercato reports the Premier League giants are ready to again make a move for Inter defender Milan Skriniar, a player they have been linked to previously.

- Already up to 15 goals this season, Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin appears set to be rewarded for his good form. The Times report the 22-year-old – apparently a target for Manchester United previously – is ready to sign a deal until 2025 with the Premier League club.

- Arsenal have started talks over a move for Feyenoord's 19-year-old playmaker Orkun Kokcu for £23m (€26.5m), according to the Daily Mail.

Harry Maguire has emerged as a concern for Manchester United ahead of Sunday's derby with Manchester City due to an ankle injury.

The England international was absent for United's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Derby County on Thursday having rolled his ankle in training.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he had intended to play United's captain against the Rams on his 27th birthday.

However, Maguire's injury has left United boss Solskjaer unsure over whether he can pick the centre-back for Sunday's clash with Pep Guardiola's City at Old Trafford.

"I had a word with him before training yesterday, that I am not going to rest him [against Derby]," Solskjaer told MUTV.

"But then he rolled his ankle in training so he had to stay at home. Hopefully he will be okay for the weekend, but I am not sure."

City have their own injury concern over a key man after Kevin De Bruyne missed their FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday with a back complaint.

Solskjaer made six changes from the side which drew 1-1 at Everton for the game against Derby, with Juan Mata captaining a team that featured Odion Ighalo.

United's all-time record scorer Wayne Rooney was named in Championship side Derby's starting XI.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is unsure if Kevin De Bruyne will be fit for Sunday's derby against Manchester United due to a shoulder injury.

De Bruyne was not involved as City triumphed 1-0 at Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup, Sergio Aguero's goal sending the holders through to the quarter-finals midweek.

Speaking after Wednesday's victory, Guardiola revealed star De Bruyne was absent because of a problem suffered in the closing stages of the EFL Cup final against Aston Villa at the weekend.

The City boss admitted he does not know if the 28-year-old will be ready for the weekend as City face the short trip to Old Trafford in the Premier League.

"Kevin had a problem here [pointing to his shoulder]," Guardiola told the media. "He was not fit.

"In the last game, the last minutes he fell down in a bad position and had a problem in his back. We don't know how long [he will be out]. Hopefully not much."

Asked if Belgium international De Bruyne will be fit to face United, he replied: "I don't know."

De Bruyne only came on a second-half substitute against Villa, replacing Ilkay Gundogan in the 58th minute at Wembley Stadium.

After the game against United, City host Arsenal in league action next Wednesday, while the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid takes place at the Etihad Stadium on March 17.

Pep Guardiola was pleased FA Cup holders Manchester City enjoyed a trouble-free outing to reach the quarter-finals courtesy of a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Sergio Aguero's second-half strike, his 20th goal in the competition, was enough to earn City a fifth-round victory over Championship opponents at Hillsborough.

Lower-league opposition have caused City problems in the FA Cup in previous years, with Wigan Athletic knocking Guardiola's side out at this stage two seasons ago and Huddersfield Town forcing a fifth-round replay in 2017.

Yet Wednesday never looked like upsetting the odds as they failed to register a single shot on target across the 90 minutes.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Guardiola said: "We were out at Wigan two seasons ago. I remember Swansea last season in extra time and the last moments. We knew it.

Aguero's goal earned City their fifth successive win in all competitions as they built on last Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first-leg victory at Real Madrid and Sunday's EFL Cup final triumph over Aston Villa.

Given City were celebrating lifting their first trophy of the season only three days earlier, Guardiola was delighted they got the job done with ease in the FA Cup.

"It doesn't matter what level, we were incredibly solid," added Guardiola, whose side have been drawn away at Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

"It's tough to defend [against] 10 players there, we didn't find more passes inside but we created enough chances to win. Two [efforts hit the] crossbar but especially the chances we had in the second half.

"It was a tough week for us, in terms of we talk about this before, we spend a lot of mental energy but the players again were ready to fight and play as good as possible and qualify for the next round."

FA Cup holders Manchester City face a trip to Newcastle United in the quarter-finals.

Pep Guardiola's men were unconvincing in their fifth-round clash with Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, Sergio Aguero scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win.

City's reward is a trip to St James' Park, where they were held to a 2-2 Premier League draw in November.

Chelsea, who knocked out runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool on Tuesday, will visit fellow Champions League chasers Leicester City.

Arsenal's quest to extend their competition record to 14 titles next takes them to Bramall Lane, the Gunners having suffered a 1-0 defeat there in October when Unai Emery was still at the helm.

Derby County, the sole remaining non-Premier League side in the competition, will travel to Norwich City should they stun Manchester United on Thursday.

Wednesday's clash between Tottenham and Norwich was locked at 1-1 in extra time, but Tim Krul denied Gedson Fernandes in a penalty shoot-out to send the Canaries through.

The quarter-final matches will be played on the weekend of March 20-22.

 

Draw in full:

Sheffield United v Arsenal
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Norwich City v Derby County/Manchester United
Leicester City v Chelsea

Sergio Aguero scored his 20th FA Cup goal as holders Manchester City beat Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at Hillsborough to reach the quarter-finals.

The Argentinian's 53rd-minute strike proved the difference as Pep Guardiola's side made it five successive wins in all competitions, matching their best run of victories in 2019-20.

Defenders Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy struck the woodwork either side of half-time before Championship side Wednesday's resistance was eventually broken.

Goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith got a hand to Aguero's strike but could not prevent the ball going over the line as City's all-time leading scorer registered his 254th goal for the club.

Gabriel Jesus and Aguero were both in the City starting line-up and the former headed a 20th-minute chance wide from a John Stones cross.

Aguero spotted his fellow forward's run seven minutes later but the Brazilian failed to get a good connection on a stretching volley when free six yards out.

Otamendi nodded against the crossbar from a free-kick delivered by Riyad Mahrez, who also picked out Stones from a set-piece only for the defender to miss the target when his downward header hit the ground and bounced over the top.

There was a greater impetus from City after the break, though, as Mendy's first-time effort cannoned off the frame of the goal in a sign Guardiola's half-time words had worked.

Wednesday did not heed the warning, with Aguero left in enough space in the box to collect Mendy's pass, turn and fire a shot which looped off Wildsmith's left arm and went in.

Replays showed it was a close call over whether Aguero was onside or had strayed beyond last man Dominic Iorfa, though the absence of VAR at Wednesday's ground meant there was no closer inspection.

Wildsmith did redeem himself somewhat by thwarting Stones, Rodri and substitute Raheem Sterling with his legs, while another more conventional save with his hands denied Mahrez.

However, Wednesday failed to register a shot on target across the piece and mustered their only effort overall in the sixth minute as Aguero's strike proved enough to send City into the last eight.

 

What does it mean? Treble (of sorts) still on for City

Guardiola's men won the EFL Cup for a third successive season on Sunday, though a repeat of last term's domestic treble appears highly unlikely given Liverpool's 22-point lead in the Premier League.
Yet City could still end the campaign with three trophies having beaten Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie last week. With a fifth straight win, they are hitting form at the right time.

Aguero the difference again

A second-half winner at Hillsborough took Aguero's tally for the season to 23 in all competitions, more than any other player in the Premier League.

In reaching 254 goals for City, he also moved beyond Wayne Rooney's record haul of 253 with Manchester United, a statistic that those of a blue persuasion will particularly enjoy…

Another quiet night for Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva was one of City's best players last season but has been a shadow of himself in 2019-20.

Here he made just one key pass – compared to five for Jesus and four for David Silva – and had just one shot compared to Mahrez's six. This was Bernardo Silva's chance to further his case for inclusion in crucial Champions League games and it was hardly persuasive.

What's next?

It is the small matter of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday next for City. Wednesday, currently residing in the middle of the Championship table, travel to Brentford the previous day.

Manchester City's Premier League match against Arsenal has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, March 11.

Arsenal were originally scheduled to visit the Etihad Stadium last weekend, although City's progress to the EFL Cup final meant a new date was required.

All parties have moved swiftly to reorganise the fixture, which will kick off at 19:30 GMT.

Mikel Arteta will be pitted against City for the first time since leaving Pep Guardiola's backroom team to take charge of the Gunners.

City, who retained the EFL Cup for a third successive season by beating Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley, won the reverse fixture 3-0 at Emirates Stadium in December.

Arsenal lie 10th in the table and are eight points shy of Chelsea in fourth with a game in hand, while City are second and 22 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool having played one game less.

Guardiola's side face Sheffield Wednesday in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Wednesday before a derby showdown against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday – the latter fixture coming a day after Arsenal's own local argument at home to West Ham.

Pep Guardiola insists he has no fear when it comes to trusting Manchester City youngster Phil Foden in big games.

Foden was handed a start in Sunday's EFL Cup final against Aston Villa and responded with a man-of-the-match display in a 2-1 victory – City's third consecutive triumph in the competition.

There had been murmurs of discontent in some quarters over the lack of meaningful minutes granted to the 19-year-old this season and Guardiola is set to face further demands to select the playmaker after his Wembley outing sparked talk of an England call-up.

The City manager is content with this state of affairs, however, pointing to Foden's goalscoring outing in a pivotal 1-0 win over Tottenham during last season's knife-edge Premier League title race as another demonstration of his trust.

"I'm not scared in the important games to put in the players I decided. I play games without strikers. I play a final with Phil because I see Phil every day," Guardiola said on the eve of an FA Cup fifth-round trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

"The only problem for Phil and other players who maybe do not have the minutes that they deserve is the squad – some players have more experience than Phil and something that he does not have just yet because he is 19 years old.

"Every time I decide to let him play he always plays good. Always he was at a high, high level.

"Last season he played against Tottenham to win the Premier League after being knocked out of the Champions League, he played against Leicester.

"When I select him, I do not have any doubts. When Leroy Sane was injured in the pre-season and the people said we have to maybe go to the market, I said, 'No – Phil can play in the middle and play wide'.

Guardiola shuffled his pack to produce some eyebrow-raising team selections last week, although he was ultimately vindicated as City claimed wins on the road at Leicester City and Real Madrid before retaining the EFL Cup.

Right-back Kyle Walker and central midfield duo Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan were the only ever-presents as their boss deployed a range of tactical shapes, while the consistency of City's play in challenging circumstances pleased Guardiola the most.

"In all games we were like what we are. We changed some things in the way we attacked, the way we defend, but we played the way we are over the last years," he said.

"We spoke about that – try to be ourselves whatever happens from the beginning – and we did it."

One player seemingly still to get up to speed with these demands is Joao Cancelo.

The Portugal full-back was a high-profile close season arrival from Juventus but has so far struggled at the Etihad Stadium.

After remaining an unused substitute in Leicester and Madrid, Cancelo missed out on the matchday squad at the weekend.

Asked what the 25-year-old must do to get back in favour, Guardiola replied: "Be himself, open-minded, listen, try to do his best. We are here to help him – the normal things I want from all the players.

"It depends on him, absolutely. We can suggest but the rest, the players have to decide."

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