According to City Manager Pep Guardiola, their top defender will not be available for their Community Shield Clash against Liverpool.
On Saturday night, Man City will meet Liverpool in the Community Shield, continuing an unusual preseason in which they have only played two friendlies.
These victories over Club America and Bayern Munich took place during a tour of the United States, where just 21 players participated.
City have seen the departures of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus, and other key players this summer. That’s why Guardiola’s squad is currently quite small.
Pep reveals Man City Defender Laporte won’t be playing this Saturday
The most notable of these is Laporte, who last season played the most minutes of any City center-back. But he will now miss a sizable amount of time due to injury, including the matchup with Liverpool.
Guardiola told the reporters:
“Laporte is injured. He had surgery after the last season. He played the last two, three games [of last season] with an important injury.
And he made an incredible effort, but of course, he could not continue to do that. He had surgery, so far he’s doing really, really well, but you have to be careful with the knee.
I don’t know, we need the time, I think August he will be out, but maybe in September he starts to be with us. We will see.”
The remaining senior center-back alternatives are Ruben Dias, John Stones, and Nathan Ake. Stones hasn’t played yet in this preseason after missing the US tour due to an unspecified reason that is likely related to his vaccination status.
As he did against Bayern, it becomes sense that Ake will accompany Dias on Saturday. However, Guardiola has also substituted Kyle Walker and the recent acquisition Kalvin Phillips.
Mohamed Salah will be full of fire when they face him. And Guardiola is fully aware of the threat posed by the No. 11 player.
Pep was full-on praise for Salah, calling him an exceptional player, an incredible threat, and a top goalscorer.
Though Community Shield itself isn’t a coveted trophy, the sides will be looking to win it as a positive start for the new season.