Man City can cope with injuries, Arsenal meet Chelsea

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Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City vs Huddersfield Town - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 6, 2018 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne applauds fans after winning the Premier League title REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester City have the depth in squad to cope with the potential long-term absence of playmaker Kevin de Bruyne, who sustained a knee injury in training on Wednesday, the Premier League club’s defender Kyle Walker has said.

De Bruyne’s injury will come as a major blow for City with the Belgian providing the most number of assists for the club for the last three seasons.

The 27-year-old notched up 12 goals and 21 assists last term to help Pep Guardiola’s side win the league and the League Cup.

“Kevin is a great player and it’s just unfortunate that it’s happened to him in training but there’s more than enough depth in the squad,” Walker told reporters.

“We don’t just rely on one player. It’s a team game and whoever steps in will do well. Obviously, it’s a big loss but we’ve got more than enough cover.”

De Bruyne, a World Cup semi-finalist with Belgium earlier this year, is likely to be sidelined for around two to four months, according to British media reports.

City beat Arsenal 2-0 in their opening league fixture last weekend and will host Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac and midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles have been ruled out until October with injuries, the Premier League club has said. Kolasinac, 25, sustained a left knee injury in a pre-season match against Chelsea earlier this month while Maitland-Niles was substituted off in the first half of Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat by champions Manchester City in their opening league fixture.

The 20-year-old Maitland-Niles has a fracture to his left fibula. Defender Carl Jenkinson has also suffered a sprain on his right ankle and will be out for upto two months.

“Sead has a left knee injury. We are aiming for him to return to training in October,” Arsenal said on their website.

France international Laurent Koscielny, who missed his nation’s World Cup-winning campaign with an Achilles tendon tear, is on the mend and is expected to return to training in November.

Arsenal have been boosted with striker Danny Welbeck and defender Nacho Monreal participating in full training ahead of tomorrow’s league match against Chelsea. On Sunday, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United travel to face Brighton & Hove Albion, with Burnley and Watford facing off earlier in the day.

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