Guardiola expects Man City star to miss Atletico and Liverpool games

By Sports Desk April 01, 2022

Pep Guardiola has indicated Manchester City will have to cope without Ruben Dias for crucial games against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool.

Centre-back Dias has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury in the FA Cup win at Peterborough United on March 1, and it was revealed he faced four to six weeks on the sidelines.

It appears the Portuguese defender will be available again closer to the six-week mark than Guardiola might have hoped, with City facing Atletico in the Champions League either side of a Premier League clash with title rivals Liverpool.

First comes a trip to Burnley on Saturday, with Dias a confirmed non-starter for that game.

"I don't know," Guardiola said, when asked how much longer Dias faced on the sidelines.

"The doctor said four to six weeks. I think we need 10 more days, two weeks more. Everything is going well."

The first leg of the Atletico quarter-final is coming up at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, with Liverpool visiting on Sunday, April 10, three days before Guardiola's men are back in European action in Madrid.

The timeframe suggests Dias may struggle to play any part in those three games, which are followed by an FA Cup semi-final, also against Liverpool, on April 16 at Wembley.

Although Dias has been an integral figure in Guardiola's first-team plans, his absence from four Premier League games this season has not had a majorly adverse impact to date.

Without him, City have won three times and drawn once in four games (average points: 2.5), while with Dias in the side they have won 19, drawn three and lost three (average points: 2.4) – though the sample sizes are significantly different.

City would have good cause to be cautiously optimistic of taking three points at Burnley without Dias involved, however.

After taking five points from their first 12 available against City in the Premier League (W1 D2 L1), Burnley have managed just one point from the subsequent 11 games between the teams (D1 L10).

Indeed, City have won their last nine meetings with Burnley in all competitions by a 32-1 aggregate score.

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