Manchester City cruised into the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday night, despite losing 2-1 at home to FC Basel in the second leg of their last 16 tie.
Pep Guardiola’s side did the damage in the first tie, in Switzerland, storming to a 4-0 away victory and ensuring that the return fixture was nothing more than a formality.
That was a welcome boost to the former Bayern boss, who had overseen a tough run of fixtures the week before, with two matches against Arsenal – including the EFL Cup final – before a clash with champions Chelsea.
He was able to make changes but two men who didn’t feature were Raheem Sterling and Benjamin Mendy. We’ve taken a look at when City might expect them back, according to PremierInjuries.
When was he injured?: Mendy’s flying start to his Manchester City career was brought to a halt by a knee ligament injury sustained during the victory over Crystal Palace in September.
Potential return date: 07/04/18. He is back in training now.
Has he been missed?: City have coped in his absence and carried on winning at a frightening rate. A combination of Fabian Delph’s reinvention as a left back and having other able deputies in Danilo and Oleksandr Zinchenko has softened the blow. However, his absence undoubtedly deprives City of something and his return will be welcome.
What the manager said: “Mendy is back [on the training pitches] but after six months we have to be careful.” – March 6.
When was he injured?: Sterling has missed City’s last five matches with a thigh injury. It interrupted a season that has seen him discover by far the best goalscoring form of his career.
Expected return date: 12/03/18
Has he been missed?: City have won the EFL Cup and continued their match towards the Premier League title in Sterling’s absence. However, they have also been knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of Wigan and lost the aforementioned dead rubber against Basel. Bernardo Silva has had to play out wide, which isn’t a natural fit but the Portuguese international netted the winner at the back post against Chelsea last Sunday.
What the manager said: On February 28, Guardiola was optimistic about Sterling’s chances of a return. He said, “much, much better. I don’t know if he can play tomorrow but hopefully Chelsea or Basel.” Therefore, it might be a worry for City fans that Sterling was not able to make the squad for either of those games that Pep mentioned.