Pep Guardiola has revealed that Manchester City will have to deal with problems without Ruben Dias in key games against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool.
Center-back Dias has not played since receiving an FA Cup injury at Peterborough United on March 1, and it has emerged he has been sidelined for four to six weeks.
It looks like the Portuguese defender will be available again in six weeks’ time than Guardiola had hoped, with City facing Atletico in the Champions League on both sides of the Premier League with arch-rivals Liverpool.
First comes the trip to Burnley on Saturday, with the guaranteed Dias not starting in that game.
“I do not know,” Guardiola said, when asked how long Dias was looking aside.
“The doctor said four to six weeks. I think we need another 10 days, two more weeks. Everything is fine.”
The first leg of Atletico’s quarter-final will arrive at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, with Liverpool visiting on Sunday, April 10, three days before Guardiola’s men return to Europe in Madrid.
Time suggests that Dias could play any role in those three games, followed by the FA Cup semi-finals, and Liverpool, on April 16 at Wembley.
Although Dias has been part of Guardiola’s first team plans, his absence from four Premier League games this season has not had a negative impact so far.
Without him, City have won three times and drawn once in four games (average score: 2.5), while with Dias side winning 19, drawing three and losing three (average points: 2.4) – although the sample sizes are very large. different.
City could have good reason to hope to be careful by taking three points from Burnley without Dias being involved.
After scoring five of their first 12 points against City in the Premier League (W1 D2 L1), Burnley managed to score just one point in the next 11 games between teams (D1 L10).
Indeed, City have won their last nine meetings with Burnley in all competitions 32-1 on aggregate.