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Pep Guardiola admits Kevin De Bruyne is not ’100 per cent’

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The Belgian international sat out City’s 1-0 win over Brentford on Tuesday as the 32-year-old had some niggles. Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth, Guardiola revealed De Bruyne “did not feel comfortable” playing against the Bees, but he is very likely to be in the squad for the clash against the Cherries.

The Spaniard told reporters on Friday: “He’s [De Bruyne] good – not injured. He’s better. I don’t know if he is 100 per cent but we took a good decision to not take a risk, apart from the result, if the result was not good, people would ask why he didn’t play. He didn’t feel comfortable.

“We have training at 4pm [Friday]. The day after the game he didn’t train and yesterday everyone was off, but he trained by himself. Today [Friday] we will assess. I am sure he will travel.”

City are still in the hunt for a second-straight treble (Champions League, FA Cup, Premier League) despite appearing to be at a lower level to where they were at this point last season. For much of the campaign they have been without the influential midfielder due to injury but when he is fit he makes a huge difference. Therefore, managing his minutes is key.

After City take on Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth this weekend, Guardiola’s side travel to Luton Town in round five of the FA Cup on Tuesday. They then host rivals Manchester United on March 3 in the Premier League.

 

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European Leagues

Belgium: Onyedika scores again as Club Brugge thrash Antwerp

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Belgium: Onyedika scores again as Club Brugge thrash Antwerp

Nigeria midfielder Raphael Onyedika was on target for the second consecutive game as Club Brugge defeated Royal Antwerp 3-0 on Sunday.

Onyedika opened the scoring for Club Brugge one minute before the break.

The 22-year-old has now scored three goals in his last two games for the former Belgian Pro League champions.

Onyedika was in action for 90 minutes in the game.

The former FC Midtjylland star will however miss Club Brugge’s next game against Union St Gilloise after picking his third yellow card of the play-offs.

His compatriots, Alhassan Yusuf and Chidera Ejuke were in action for Royal Antwerp in the game.

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EPL: Iwobi grabs assist in Fulham’s win at West Ham

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EPL: Iwobi grabs assist in Fulham’s win at West Ham

Alex Iwobi registered an assist as Fulham defeated West Ham United at the London Stadium.

Iwobi set up Andreas Pereira for the Whites second goal of the game in the 72nd minute.

It was the Nigeria international’s third assist in the Premier League this season.

The midfielder has also scored five goals.

Iwobi was replaced by Harry Wilson in the 74th minute.

His compatriot Calvin Bassey also put up a solid display for Fulham.

Bassey was in action for 90 minutes in the game.

 

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European Leagues

Serie A: Osimhen on target but not enough as Napoli slip at Frosinone

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Serie A: Osimhen on target but not enough as Napoli slip at Frosinone

Napoli’s slim chances of Champions League football were dealt another blow on Sunday after a 2-2 home draw in their Serie A match with struggling Frosinone.

Walid Cheddira’s first brace in Italy’s top flight earned a point for Frosinone in Naples.

It left ailing Italian champions Napoli in eighth, six points behind fifth-placed Roma, who can extend their advantage when they face Udinese later on Sunday.

Italian clubs’ strong performances in European football mean a top-five finish in Serie A is almost certain to gain a spot in the Champions League.

Napoli are increasingly unlikely to be among that group, and were booed off the pitch at a sparsely-populated Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Francesco Calzona’s side looked set for sixth place when Victor Osimhen diverted home Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s mishit shot in the 63rd minute.

Instead Cheddira, who had previously levelled Matteo Politano’s stunning early opener after the away side were gifted possession by Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret, headed home his second 10 minutes after Osimhen’s strike.

Frosinone stay just inside the bottom three and level on 27 points with 17th-placed Verona, who are outside the relegation zone on goal difference and face Atalanta on Monday.

Eusebio Di Francesco’s team deserved the draw from an eventful game in which Meret initially looked to be the hero after he saved Matias Soule’s penalty on the half-hour mark.

Frosinone have only won one league match since late November but successive draws with Genoa, fourth-placed Bologna and now Napoli have boosted their hopes of staying up.

Later Inter Milan host Cagliari at the San Siro, where a win will guarantee an opportunity to seal their 20th league title in the Milan derby on Monday week.

Inter are a whopping 14 points ahead of closest challengers AC Milan, who are at Sassuolo on Sunday.

Beating Cagliari will ensure the derby will be a chance for Inter to claim the Scudetto regardless of how Milan do in their match.

 

 

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