Manchester City dealt blow with defender banned for visit of Leeds United as Pep Guardiola issues squad update

Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo is suspended for the visit of Leeds United in the Premier League.

By Joe Urquhart
Monday, 13th December 2021, 2:03 pm
Updated Monday, 13th December 2021, 2:04 pm

The Whites travel over the Pennines on Tuesday evening in the top flight to take on Pep Guardiola' s reigning English champions.

City sit top of the pile heading into the festive period with a one point advantage over Liverpool after 16 games following Saturday's victory over Wolves on home soil.

Leeds, meanwhile, are 15th in the standings following a late defeat at third-placed Chelsea in the capital.

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Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo. Pic: Getty

United managed to take four points from their hosts last season, earning a famous victory with 10-men at the Etihad stadium in April which followed a 1-1 draw at Elland Road earlier in the campaign.

City have a near full squad at Guardiola's disposal with only two absentees listed for the clash against Leeds.

Cancelo will serve a one-match ban after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last time out.

Ferran Torres, who is a long-term absentee, is also missing with an ankle injury that has seen him kept in the treatment room since mid-October.

"Everyone is fit except Ferran," Guardiola told his pre-match press conference.

The City boss was also quizzed about the recent impact of Covid on the top flight, confirming that some of his staff had tested positive recently.

"I’m concerned about Covid because it is in society and some of the [coaching] staff here have it right now. I tell the players to wear masks and be careful," he added.

"We speak with the players every day to say be careful. Stay healthy, wear masks, social distance. It's Christmas, the tendency is to party and go out. But the virus is still here.

"The virus doesn’t allow you to suffer much, but cases rise day by day, so just be careful."

Marcelo Bielsa is unable to welcome back any of his squad for the top flight encounter. Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper and Patrick Bamford remain out with hamstring problems.

Robin Koch has returned to training but isn't available following his absence since August while Pascal Struijk (foot) and Rodrigo (heel) continue to recover.