Monday 23 October 2017

Knee injury leaves James Milner a doubt for Barca clash

James Milner of Manchester City
James Milner of Manchester City

Andy Hampson

Manchester City midfielder James Milner looks doubtful for next week's Champions League clash against Barcelona with a knee injury.

The England international has been ruled out of this evening's Premier League date with Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium and will be assessed before Tuesday's glamour encounter.

Milner, impressive this season in various positions, has taken a knock and although City are hopeful it is not serious, they are still to learn the extent of the problem.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini said: "We will see. It is not very, very serious but he couldn't work in the whole week, so we will see how he improves in the next (few) days but he has a kick in his ligament in his knee.

"He is not available for tomorrow. All the other players in the squad are fit."

focus

Attention is already starting to turn to the visit of Catalan giants Barca, but with a seven-point deficit to leaders Chelsea in the Premier League to make up, Pellegrini wants to keep focus on Newcastle.

The Chilean is so keen to prevent the Champions League becoming a distraction that a planned player interview session for Spanish-speaking media to preview the game on Thursday was cancelled at short notice.

This attracted some negative coverage in the Spanish press but Pellegrini has promised to rearrange.

He said: "It was nothing important. I think it was not the right day to have a press conference about a game that we must play on Tuesday.

"I think it is more important to finish with Newcastle and then we can do a press conference on Sunday or Monday."

New signing Wilfried Bony is in contention to make his City debut against the Magpies.

The £25million striker has not been available since being signed from Swansea last month due to his involvement, along with key City midfielder Yaya Toure, in Ivory Coast's African Nations Cup triumph.

Manchester City v Newcastle, Live, Sky Sports 1, 5.30

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