Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Manchester City may have to do without Kevin De Bruyne against Liverpool after missing their trip to St. Mary’s to face S’ton.

The Reds travel to the Etihad on Thursday to protect their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League table after a manic December fixture schedule handed a huge advantage to the Reds.

City lost three games during the final month of 2018, with Liverpool winning all eight of their league fixtures to open up a healthy lead over the Manchester outfit and Tottenham.

With their trip to the Etihad on Thursday, Liverpool have the chance to stretch the gap between them and City to a whopping 10 points. De Bruyne’s injury will come as a boost unless, however, it’s just mind games from Pep Guardiola.

“I don’t know how he is,” said Guardiola. “Today he was not able to play, but it is not a big issue.

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“It is normal for this to happen when you spend three to four months out injured – you come back in such a demanding period and you have a little bit of a problem.

“It’s not a big issue, but I cannot say if he will be able to play on Thursday.”

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