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Pep Guardiola: Benjamin Mendy Will Be in Manchester City Squad for Burton Clash

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2019

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola (L) throws the ball to Manchester City's French defender Benjamin Mendy (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on August 19, 2018. (Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)
LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has announced Benjamin Mendy will be in the squad for the return leg of the EFL Cup tie against Burton Albion on Wednesday.

The Frenchman could play his first minutes since suffering an injury in November, with Guardiola saying he could take a spot on the bench:

Manchester City @ManCity

PEP 💬 @benmendy23 is in the squad tomorrow. Maybe on the bench. Mangala is not going to play. I don’t know what situation is with his transfer. If he doesn't leave, he's going to stay with us.

Goal's Sam Lee provided more comments from the manager:

Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal

Guardiola on how much City have missed Mendy: "In terms of the results not too much, but I have missed him. I have the feeling he can give us extra, and hopefully in the end of the season we can use him."

Mendy started the season in superb form for City, but the injury bug once again struck for the left-back. Per Transfermarkt, his debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium came undone due to a cruciate ligament rupture, and his 2018-19 season has been marred by foot and knee troubles.

The 24-year-old last featured on November 11, playing 90 minutes in a win over rivals Manchester United.

Danilo started the 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Sunday and scored the opener. Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko have also filled in at left-back.

Dave Thompson/Associated Press

Wednesday's meeting with Burton should present Guardiola with an excellent opportunity to either play some of his youngsters or give the returning Mendy a chance to pick up some game time.

The Citizens will defend a gargantuan nine-goal lead from the first leg and are all but guaranteed a spot in the final.

Guardiola gave Kevin De Bruyne his first start in his return from injury in the EFL Cup earlier this season, playing the Belgian for 71 minutes against Leicester City after he had made a cameo appearance against Everton three days earlier.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11:  Benjamin Mendy of Manchester City celebrates victory after the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on November 11, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Laurence
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

City are locked in a tight battle for the Premier League lead and currently trail Liverpool by four points. They'll need all the help they can get to bridge that gap, so the return of Mendy is welcome news.

He'll likely need some time to regain his form, but City have able deputies in the meantime.

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