Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva are fit to face Arsenal on Saturday evening.
Our £32.4m-rated right-back and £72m-rated wide-man have only amassed 51 minutes of playing time for Manchester City this season after picking up injuries while on international duty in September, but both players featured for Portugal in the week without issue.
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Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference: “For Bernardo and Joao who did not have a normal pre-season, they got games and it was good. I never complain about the international break. I know how important it is for players. It is an honour and a privilege.
“Always we want the players to come back fit, with no injuries. Sometimes you can’t control it. I am more than convinced that players get injured because we demand them to refresh the bodies after a demanding season and the body says no.”
Cancelo suffered a foot injury while training with Portugal in September and was ruled out until after the October international break. With the 26-year-old playing a full 90 minutes in Wednesday’s Nations League win over Sweden, he should make our squad against Arsenal.
Silva picked up a muscle injury in Portugal’s first meeting with Sweden (September 8) and was withdrawn after 21 minutes. He missed City’s 3-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers (September 21), EFL Cup win over Bournemouth (September 24) and 5-2 defeat to Leicester City (September 27) but at the end of the month.
The 26-year-old played 26 minutes in our EFL Cup win over Burnley (September 30), 25 minutes in our 1-1 draw with Leeds United (October 3), 62 minutes in Portugal’s Nations League draw with France (October 11) and 75 minutes in their Nations League win over Sweden (October 14).