By DAN KARELL
If Monday’s Chelsea victory against Manchester City showed us anything, it’s that Man City midfielder Fernandinho is virtually irreplaceable.
The Brazilian midfielder was a surprise omission from the Man City starting lineup due to a muscle injury suffered in training over the weekend, and head coach Manuel Pellegrini believes that Fernandinho could miss the next three to four weeks. Without Fernandinho, Man City midfielder Yaya Toure could not play at his usual level as his new partner, Martin Demichelis, was consistently overrun.
Fernandinho’s injury comes at a terrible time for Man City, with games against Chelsea again in the FA Cup and two matches in the UEFA Champions League against Barcelona coming up before the end of the month.
In his first season in the English Premier League, the 28-year-old midfielder has scored three goals in 30 games in all competitions.
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BALE FIT FOR MADRID DERBY
Real Madrid will have their full compliment of players available to them when they face crosstown rival Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in the Copa Del Rey semifinals first leg.
Speaking at a press conference, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Gareth Bale has returned to training and will be available for selection against Atletico. The 24-year-old Welshman has missed the last two Real Madrid matches due to a calf problem.
“Gareth Bale is available for tomorrow,” Ancelotti told reporters. “He has recovered well, has trained well and he will play.
“He has done very well in certain moments this season, in others he has had a few problems. He will be much better next year, because he will have had a pre-season and he will have adapted more to Spanish football.”
Bale has missed time this season on four separate occasions due to injuries. Despite this, he’s still managed 10 goals in 22 games in all competitions for Real Madrid.
Newcastle’s director of football Joe Kinnear resigned nine months after taking the job, despite failing to make a single permanent signing and selling Yohan Cabaye. (REPORT)
Real Madrid have appealed the red card awarded on Sunday to Cristiano Ronaldo. (REPORT)
Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is set to miss his side’s next two matches, including a tilt against AS Monaco. (REPORT)
Dnipro expect Liverpool to come back in the summer to sign Yehven Konoplyanka, who they nearly signed in January. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Fernandinho’s absence hurting Man City as bad as it did on Monday? Do you believe Bale could start against Atletico?
Share your thoughts below.