Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola revealed that his Belgian players Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Portuguese Robin Diaz are in a race against time to be ready for the club’s efforts to achieve a hat-trick in the FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday.
Midfielder De Bruyne, winger Grealish and defender Diaz missed City’s 1-0 defeat by Brentford through injury on Sunday.
The English Premier League champions, who face Inter in the Champions League final on June 10, will be looking to match Manchester United’s achievement of winning all three major trophies in one season.
However, City’s hopes of defeating its arch-rival and neighbor at Wembley Stadium next weekend will be damaged if this trio is unable to recover from the injury in time.
In response to a question about whether the players who missed the Brentford match would be fit to face United, Guardiola said: I don’t know now. I hope.
He added: Robin, Jack and Kevin couldn’t play. That’s how it is. I think they will be ready but it is difficult to prepare in training. That’s why I had to see the guys who played today.
Jamaican Ethan Pennock’s goal in the 85th minute made Brentford the only team to beat City back and forth this season, and only the fifth since Guardiola took over in 2016.
The Spanish coach said: I’m sure we would have been a little different if we needed the points. I have no complaints about the way we behaved, I said to the players now, you won the title, enjoy two days with your families, and then we will prepare for the first final.
He added that: People who did not play normally were tired yesterday, they were completely drained mentally. They needed to rest to get the right energy to face United.