Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne will start the Champions League final for Manchester City with RB Leipzig as the star midfielder looks to boost his fitness after returning from the Corona virus.
- Pep Guardiola was speaking to the media before Manchester City’s last group stage match
- Kevin De Bruyne missed four matches after re-testing positive for Covid
- The midfielder made a stunning cameo during Saturday’s win over Watford
- Guardiola will use the match against RB Leipzig to boost De Bruyne’s fitness
- He also confirmed that five of the academy’s products will make the trip to Germany
Pep Guardiola will use dead rubber in the Champions League for Manchester City to boost Kevin De Bruyne’s fitness.
The midfielder returned from the bench during Saturday’s win over Watford, after he tested positive for the Corona virus.
De Bruyne missed four matches while out and will start against RB Leipzig behind closed doors.
Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne will start with Manchester City against RB Leipzig
De Bruyne will give him the chance to build his fitness after the time wasted due to the Corona virus
Kevin was growing in physical condition and contracted corona. “It was a setback,” Guardiola said. “People who are suffering are feeling very empty in the coming days. He will start tomorrow and we will see how many minutes he can play.
He added: ‘Now he has to come back and fight for a position like everyone else. But Kevin doesn’t have to show me anything at all.
He should come back by himself and show he’s back, and do what he has to do. As he has done for the past five or six years, every three days.
De Bruyne returned on Saturday when he came on as a second-half substitute at Watford
Gabriel Jesus will not travel to Germany after a heavy blow from Craig Cathcart in Vicarage Road, which Guardiola called the ‘orange card’.
Academy productions Cole Palmer, James Makati, Romeo Lavia, Josh Wilson-Ebrand and CJ Egan-Reilly are all on their way to Germany, with City already assured of the top spot.
Guardiola was frustrated by the injuries to strikers Liam Dilap and Sam Idouzi, who were also in contention for the post.
“(This season) we made the second team weak in the youth league, but the first team is the important thing,” he added. It is an incredible experience to see how good they are. There are five submarines and maybe we can use them tomorrow.
Guardiola confirmed that five youngsters will travel with the team to Germany
Cole Palmer, who scored against Club Brugge, is among the academy’s stars who travel
They are 18 or 19 years old and you have everything in front of you. We all agree on the potential they have, these are great young players. They absolutely need to be stabilized but the potential is there. If we have to use it no problem.
Guardiola also appears prepared to resist any moves on loan for his burgeoning talents, instead preferring them to remain around first-team coaching the path formerly trod by Phil Foden.
“Young players will stay here this season,” he said. “It’s winter time but I think they’ll be with us all season and we need them, it’s a good way to improve.
“For loan we have to make sure that they play every game. And see which manager there is and how he plays. We try to make them improve in some way to play our football.
“The best way to improve is to play every week. They can do that here with the second team but this competition is not strong enough to take the step. At the moment, training with the first team for a short period is really good. They see the quality and the fundamentals we want.
Gabriel Jesus (R) will stay at home after a blow he took in the 3-1 win over Watford