Pep Guardiola has avoided his worst nightmare ahead of Man City vs Liverpool FC
Out of nowhere, things suddenly look quite rosy for Manchester City.
They're sitting pretty in the Premier League. Top of the pile as they usually are. Not to mention qualification for the Champions League knockout stages has already been secured with two games to spare. Given City have not come close to reaching their scintillating best, you can't ask for a much better start to a season.
But a defeat to Arsenal and a draw with Chelsea has uncovered a frailty this season. Pep Guardiola's side can be beaten. No other side has been as good at beating City - apart from maybe Tottenham - in recent years than Liverpool. That's who's coming up next, far from a gentle easing back into action.
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To make matters worse, City have found themselves with a lengthy injury list ahead of the massive match. Kevin De Bruyne is a long-term absentee and John Stones was already sidelined but joining them on the casualty list recently has been Erling Haaland, Mateo Kovacic, Mathues Nunes, Nathan Ake, Ederson and Sergio Gomez.
It's not clear yet just how many of the injuries are serious and who will be ruled out of action but so many concerns are hardly ideal and the prospect of them all being out is a daunting one. Guardiola likes a small squad by design but in these rare instances, the pitfalls of one can rear their ugly head.
So you can only imagine everyone's fear last week when Rodri didn't take part in a Spain match after complaining of some 'discomfort'. There must have been hearts in mouths throughout the blue side of Manchester.
It has already