Manchester City have been rocked by the news that Kevin De Bruyne will miss Wednesday's trip to Aston Villa after the midfielder sustained a foot and ankle injury in Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
The Belgium midfielder limped off to be replaced by Phil Foden after only 48 minutes, with Hakim Ziyech scoring the decisive goal of the game only seven minutes later, as City's dreams of winning a historic quadruple this season came to a crashing end.
City have definitively ruled De Bruyne out of featuring against Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday, but the club have remained tight-lipped regarding any timeframe on his expected return date to first-team action.
With an EFL Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur and a Champions League semi-final first leg away to Paris Saint-Germain both forthcoming in the next week, though, the Citizens look set to be deprived of their best player for some incredibly important matches.
However, few squads in Europe can compare with the strength in depth which Pep Guardiola has at his disposal, with the 50-year-old expected to make eight changes to his first XI from the one which was deservedly beaten by Chelsea at the weekend.
Ederson, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ilkay Gundogan, Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva were all named among the substitutes at Wembley and are expected to come back into the side against Villa.
Indeed, having named a weakened side in the home defeat to Leeds United last time out in the Premier League, Guardiola is unlikely to take any more risks in that regard, especially with rivals Manchester United having closed the gap at the top of the table to eight points after dispatching Burnley 3-1 on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero may miss out again having been left out of the last two matchday squads due to what Guardiola described as a "number of niggles," so Gabriel Jesus is likely to lead the line once again as a more orthodox striker, with Foden and Mahrez preferred on the flanks to an out-of-sorts Raheem Sterling.
Man City possible starting lineup: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Foden
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