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Jack Grealish out of Chelsea clash as Manchester City await news on groin injury

The England international was forced off against FC Copenhagen.

Andy Hampson
Friday 16 February 2024 16:46 GMT
Jack Grealish will not be fit to face Chelsea (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jack Grealish will not be fit to face Chelsea (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

Jack Grealish has been ruled out of Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea on Saturday.

The England international was forced off with a groin injury in the first half of City’s Champions League win at FC Copenhagen on Tuesday.

Manager Pep Guardiola is still to learn the full extent of the 28-year-old’s problem but this weekend’s Premier League visit of the Londoners comes too soon for him to feature.

Guardiola said: “Jack will not be ready. I don’t know (how long he will be out). I didn’t speak with the doctors. I only know he’s not available for tomorrow.”

The game will see the return of Cole Palmer to the Etihad Stadium.

The 21-year-old City academy graduate, who moved to Stamford Bridge last August, has been one of Chelsea’s standout players this season.

Guardiola insists he pleased to see Palmer, a member of last season’s treble-winning squad, making such an impact and can understand why he chose to move on.

“Of course (we’re pleased for him),” said Guardiola. “He is a lovely lad and he helped us to achieve what we achieved.

“We didn’t have any doubts about his quality. The way he is playing, he’s a star player. He’s already an exceptional player.

“He moved on to get the minutes he has. It was just a matter of time and he has shown his quality.”

City drew 4-4 with Chelsea, with Palmer scoring a late equaliser from the penalty spot, when the sides met in November.

Chelsea’s form has been inconsistent this term and they remain in mid-table but Guardiola knows it is not a game his title-chasing side can afford to take lightly.

He said: “It’s an exceptional team in all departments, (it’s) one of the toughest games we have until the end of the season.

“They’ve been playing really good in the last games. They have everything – intensity and quality.

“Most teams are defined by if they don’t lose the ball and it’s difficult to find a player who loses the ball. They are a really good team, it’s a tough one tomorrow.”

City, chasing a fourth successive league crown, are the firm title favourites but they are currently in a tight battle with Liverpool and Arsenal.

Guardiola said: “When you arrive at the last eight to 10 games we will see how many teams will be involved.

“I think these three will be there but the distance between fourth and fifth is also so minor.

“It doesn’t matter if there are two, three or four as long as we win our games. Win our games and do our job – the rest doesn’t matter.”

City will also assess Bernardo Silva after the Portuguese suffered an ankle knock in Denmark but Mateo Kovacic is back in contention.

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