THE news just gets worse for Manchester City.
If the 1-0 loss at home to bitter rivals Manchester United that left their top-four place in serious jeopardy wasn’t painful enough, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been hit by a fresh double injury blow that threatens to seriously dent their hopes of advancing beyond the last eight in this season’s Champions League.
Forward Raheem Sterling and goalkeeper Joe Hart both went off injured in the derby defeat and are set for lengthy spells on the sidelines.
The Daily Mail reports: “Raheem Sterling is set to miss six weeks with the groin injury suffered against Manchester United.
“Manuel Pellegrini had suggested Sterling would miss around a month with the injury following the defeat by United on Sunday.
“However, it has now been revealed the former Liverpool winger will endure a lengthier spell on the sidelines and will also miss Manchester City‘s vital run-in as they bid to secure Champions League football for next season.
“Sterling has now been ruled out of City’s Champions League quarter-final clash with French giants Paris St Germain.”
The news is slightly better for Hart who is still a chance to return in time for the two-legged clash with PSG.
But with influential skipper Vincent Kompany also sidelined for several weeks with a recurrence of a calf injury, City could struggle to hold off the challenge from both United and West Ham for fourth spot in the Premier League.
We saw how vulnerable the City defence was without Kompany in their loss to United and they can ill-afford to be without the calming influence of Hart for any length of time as well.
It could well prove the difference between incoming boss Pep Guardiola beginning his City reign in the Champions League or the Europe League.
Could City beat PSG without Hart AND Kompany?