City playing waiting game over Bernardo
Bosses at the Etihad are continuing to assess a muscle complaint which saw Bernardo Silva miss the opening Premier League win over West Ham.
The mercurial Manchester City midfielder was an unused substitute in the 5-0 rout of the Irons at the London Stadium.
Manager Pep Guardiola decided in the end not to risk him after the Portugal international reported an issue to City’s medical staff on the morning of the game.
It is understood Bernardo, who last season was voted the club’s Player of the Year, felt a slight strain in his leg and has since been scanned.
The Citizens are not too concerned although Guardiola will be closely monitoring the former Monaco man’s efforts in training over the coming days ahead Saturday’s tea-time kick-off at home to Tottenham.
Winger Riyad Mahrez turned in an eye-catching display against the Hammers and Bernardo knows the Algerian will be fighting it out with him this season for a regular starting slot on the left flank.
The cruciate knee ligament injury suffered by Leroy Sane could see Bernardo also used on the right-hand side of the attack although the 25-year-old first wants to prove to Guardiola he is completely fit again.
It is mark of City’s strength in depth that they are able to cover for the loss of such an influential player with little trouble after the Portugal international made 33 Premier League appearances last term and was roundly praised for his displays.
Trying to hold on to the weekend like…🤗
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 12, 2019
Mahrez has made no secret of the fact he wants to see more action for the Citizens and, at 28, is entering the peak years of his career.
Guardiola knows he can trust the Algeria international, who showed glimpses of his talent last season but started only 14 games and finished just five of them.
With the Champions League due to begin next month and Sane set for a lengthy spell out, it may be the Spanish tactician opts to hold Bernardo back for the Spurs clash to ensure he is not short of numbers when Europe’s elite club competition comes around once again.
With back-to-back Premier League titles under her belt, Europe will surely be a priority for Guardiola, who last lifted the Champions League trophy with Barcelona in the 2010-2011 campaign.
Thrashing the Hammers was the perfect start to the season but the former Bayern Munich chief knows he must make a splash in Europe again.