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Kyle Walker and John Stones will miss Sunday’s significant Premier League showdown with Arsenal due to injury, but there is optimism surrounding the potential involvement of both Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish.

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Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson is set to make a return to the lineup after being sidelined since the 1-1 draw with Liverpool earlier this month. Additionally, there are no lingering concerns over Manuel Akanji’s fitness.

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“Kyle’s [injury is] more severe than John’s, but they will be sidelined…I’m uncertain for how many matches. [Ederson is] much improved,” Pep Guardiola disclosed during a press conference on Friday.

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Walker, who captained England for only the second time, had to exit the pitch after just 20 minutes against Brazil due to a hamstring issue. Meanwhile, Stones completed the full game but suffered an early injury ten minutes into the subsequent Belgium clash.

Stones, who has faced several injury setbacks this season, including a hip injury at the start of the campaign, has featured in six of City’s last eight Premier League matches. His absence against Arsenal is a significant setback for the reigning champions.

Walker’s absence is also notable, as he has started in 25 of City’s 28 Premier League fixtures so far in the 2023/24 season and took on the captaincy in the absence of De Bruyne earlier in the campaign.

De Bruyne missed the FA Cup quarter-final victory against Newcastle United before the international break and did not join up with the Belgium squad either. However, he trained on Thursday, giving him some time to regain fitness before the clash with Arsenal. Grealish also participated in training after not featuring since February 13th in the Champions League match against Copenhagen.

With only one point separating the top three teams in the Premier League, Sunday’s clash holds significant importance. Arsenal currently lead the table on goal difference from Liverpool, with City trailing by just one point in third place. Liverpool’s match against Brighton & Hove Albion earlier in the day could affect the dynamics of the title race.

City aims for a fourth consecutive title, a feat unprecedented in 136 years of English league football, while Arsenal seeks their first title in two decades.

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