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Kovacic, Grealish, Stones to miss City’s Champions League clash with Red Star

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic and John Stones will miss their opening Champions League group game against Red Star Belgrade tomorrow.

Guardiola’s side will host the Serbian SuperLiga champions at the Etihad Stadium as they embark on their journey to defend the trophy they clinched in Istanbul three months ago. 

The Citizens are in Group G for the 2023/24 campaign alongside Red Star, Young Boys and RB Leipzig.

The absence of Grealish, who missed the past two games against Fulham and West Ham United, has raised concerns. 

Stones has been sidelined since the Community Shield clash with Arsenal, missing six matches. 

Kovacic, who didn’t feature in Croatia’s recent international matches against Latvia and Armenia, also sat out City’s 3-1 victory at London Stadium over the weekend.

Guardiola expressed his hopes for their speedy recovery (via City’s official website): “I think they are getting better – they are not for tomorrow,” he said. 

“Hopefully for Nottingham (Forest) or the next coming games because we need it because we have not a long squad in that moment. But it’s what it is.”

City fans will undoubtedly be eagerly monitoring the progress of these influential players and hoping for their swift return to action in the forthcoming fixtures. 

Guardiola’s side will look to overcome the adversity of their absent stars and secure a strong start in their quest to retain the Champions League title.

Despite the absences, they will fancy their chances of beating Red Star on home soil. They have started the season in superb form, winning all their opening Premier League games.

The Cityzens hope to bring that incredible form to the Champions League tomorrow.

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