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Can Manchester City survive Ilkay Gundogan's injury?

Selection headache for Guardiola...

Manchester City FC v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester City just cannot catch a break as key player Ilkay Gundogan has picked up a long-term injury in his side’s recent Premier League victory against Watford.

Early reports are stating that the German has suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage which would in turn sideline him for six to eight months, ending his season.

If true, this is devastating news for Pep Guardiola and fans alike. Gundogan has proved that he is an outstanding player by pinging passes and even finding the net on several occasions, most notably twice against Barcelona.

Pep Guardiola’s biggest issue will be choosing who to field against Arsenal. Fernandinho will continue to serve his suspension for his poor decisions against Chelsea and Fabian Delph has spent the majority of the season injured. This leaves only Yaya Touré and Fernando. Yaya has impressed as of late, being one of City’s standout performers against Watford. If he continues his recent form, the 33-year-old could be a crucial factor in the upcoming match.

Fernando proved how useful he is defensively by shutting down Watford’s attacking efforts. The Brazilian could be a substantial player as well. City’s defensive line has been nothing short of questionable, keeping only three clean sheets so far in the Premier League. Fernando would add cover to the defense, increasing their chances of finishing the match without conceding.

Aleix García is another option for Guardiola, however, the youngster is certainly not yet experienced enough for such a high-stakes match.

Ultimately, Gundogan is a tough loss for Manchester City, but they can survive with Yaya Toure and Fernando until Fernandinho’s return.