Kevin de Bruyne injury concern for Manchester City

Midfielder unavailable for FA Cup clash with Newcastle due to groin strain

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Kevin de Bruyne will miss Manchester City's FA Cup quarter-final against Newcastle as the Belgium midfielder battles to return from injury, with Pep Guardiola's side chasing another treble.

De Bruyne had been left out of Belgium's squad for their upcoming friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and England because of a groin strain.

Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco said De Bruyne has been struggling with the problem for the "last few matches".

Guardiola revealed the 32-year-old felt the injury before he was substituted in the second half of last weekend's 1-1 draw at Liverpool in the Premier League.

De Bruyne had already missed a big portion of the season after aggravating a hamstring injury in City's league opener at Burnley in August.

He has now been sidelined for Newcastle's visit to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday and Guardiola did not confirm if he will be available for the crucial showdown with Premier League leaders Arsenal on March 31.

"He already played in Anfield with some problems. But he is getting better. He is not ready for tomorrow," Guardiola said on Friday.

"We spoke with the manager of Belgium and he decided. That's why I'm grateful because he didn't feel good. Hopefully now he can recover for the last part of the season.

"All the players today in modern football, they are not clean (healthy). Always they have problems. The day after the game he didn't feel good, so it's better to take a step back."

There was some positive news for City as Guardiola confirmed Jack Grealish has returned from a groin injury and will be a part of the squad. Grealish has not played since their 6-2 win over Luton Town in the FA Cup fifth round.

There was another major development on Friday as City were drawn to face Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Guardiola said he is relishing another clash with Real after City were pitted against the Spanish giants for a third successive year.

The two clubs have met in the semi-finals for the past two years, with Real winning in 2022 but City avenging that loss - wrapped up with a 4-0 win at the Etihad Stadium - last term.

"It looks like a little bit of a tradition, three years in a row playing the kings of the competition," said Guardiola.

"Hopefully we can arrive in a good moment but there are still a few weeks before the first game in Madrid.

"When people say draws are easy, you undermine the other opponent but it's not necessary to say what Real Madrid are in this competition. When you play the latter stages you play against the best teams in Europe and Real Madrid are totally there."

Updated: March 15, 2024, 3:27 PM