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Injury woe for Man City but Reds get boost

There have been contrasting fortunes on the injury front for the Premier League title contenders with Manchester City having to cope further without Ruben Dias but Liverpool able to welcome back Trent Alexander-Arnold.

City manager Pep Guardiola has indicated they may be without key defender Dias for crucial games in the Champions League against Atletico Madrid and the Premier League against Liverpool.

But Liverpool, City’s biggest rivals for the big prizes this season, say fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold has recovered quickly from hamstring trouble and is in line to play on Saturday against Watford.

City’s key centre back Dias has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury in the FA Cup win at Peterborough United on March 1, and it was revealed he faced four to six weeks on the sidelines.

It appears the Portuguese defender will be available again closer to the six-week mark than Guardiola might have hoped, with City facing Atletico in the Champions League either side of a Premier League clash with Liverpool.

First comes a trip to Burnley on Saturday, with Dias a confirmed non-starter for that game.

“I don’t know,” Guardiola said, when asked how much longer Dias faced on the sidelines.

“The doctor said four to six weeks. I think we need 10 more days, two weeks more. Everything is going well.”

Meanwhile, Alexander-Arnold’s return is a big boost for Liverpool ahead of a Champions League quarterfinal match at Benfica on Tuesday and the league showdown with City the following Sunday.

But first is relegation-threatened Watford at Anfield.

“It will be tight for tomorrow but it’s possible,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday.

The 23-year-old Alexander-Arnold was originally projected to miss at least two weeks, which had raised concerns about his availability for the April 10 game at City, who lead the table by one point.

“Physically he should be fine. Now I have to make the decision about rhythm and these kinds of things,” Klopp said.

The German coach also said top scorer Mohamed Salah will rebound from Egypt’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Egypt lost to Senegal on penalties Tuesday after his clubmate Sadio Mane converted the winner.

Salah was targeted by laser pointers before missing his kick in the shootout.

“I’m obviously really happy for Sadio that he could make it and I’m obviously very disappointed and feel (for) Mo,” Klopp said.

“I don’t think that the situation around with the penalty and the lasers was particularly cool. That’s clear as well. So, I feel for him, but I’m happy for Sadio as well. That’s football.”

With AP

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