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Kevin De Bruyne a doubt for Manchester derby

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Manager Pep Guardiola said the Belgian landed awkwardly on his back and shoulder.

Kevin De Bruyne fell awkardly in the closing stages of the Carabao Cup final

Kevin De Bruyne is an injury doubt for the Manchester derby after missing City’s FA Cup win at Sheffield Wednesday through injury.

Manager Pep Guardiola said the Belgian landed awkwardly on his back and shoulder in the latter stages of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final victory over Aston Villa at Wembley.

The 28-year-old did not travel to Hillsborough for Wednesday’s fifth-round tie, which City won 1-0, and Guardiola is unsure if he will be fit for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Guardiola is unsure over De Bruyne's fitness
Guardiola is unsure over De Bruyne’s fitness (Martin Rickett/PA)

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Guardiola said: “Kevin had a problem here (points to shoulder). He was not fit. In the last game, the last minutes he fell down in a bad position and had a problem in his back. We don’t know how long (he will be out). Hopefully not much.”

Asked if he would be fit for the derby, Guardiola said: “I don’t know.”

City were not overly troubled by their Sky Bet Championship hosts but were made to work hard for their victory by the spirited hosts.

Manchester City v West Ham United – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Kevin De Bruyne, keft, has a shoulder issue, says manager Pep Guardiola,, right (Martin Rickett/PA)

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A firm left-foot finish from Sergio Aguero, which squirmed under goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith on 53 minutes, proved the difference and means City, the holders, will now travel to Newcastle in the quarter-finals.

Guardiola, who made six changes from the side which won at Wembley, said: “This is our fourth game away in a row and we have another one on Sunday at Old Trafford.

“We spent a lot of mental energy in the last games and then came here.

“But the players were absolutely ready, we didn’t concede one shot on target and that means a lot for our capacity to read the game.

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“At the end we scored a goal and could have scored much, much more.”

Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City – FA Cup – Fifth Round – Hillsborough
Sergio Aguero (right) celebrates the winner at Hillsborough (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola felt the game would put City in good heart for the derby.

He said: “It’s better to go there winning games, being in the FA Cup, than being out.

“Tomorrow we’re going to watch a little bit of United versus Derby to analyse what they have done the last game, and we’re going to go there to try to win.”

Wednesday boss Garry Monk was proud of his battling side and felt they had a genuine gripe over City’s goal.

Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City – FA Cup – Fifth Round – Hillsborough
Garry Monk was dejected during the game but hailed his team’s battling qualities afterwards (Martin Rickett/PA)

Replays suggested Aguero may have been fractionally offside, but VAR was not being used in the tie.

Monk said: “The players did exactly what I asked and delivered it at a very good level.

“Overall we’re disappointed to lose the game to a goal that should have been offside. I would rather have lost it to a goal that was more legitimate.

“What is strange is having VAR in some grounds and not others but I am not complaining. Credit to them, they are a fantastic team.

“I’m disappointed with the result but very pleased with the level of commitment.”

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