Pep Guardiola has called on his Manchester City players to “adapt” after it was confirmed that star man Kevin De Bruyne would be sidelined for up to six weeks

The news could have a huge bearing on the Premier League title race with City’s playmaker set to miss key fixtures over the course of his recovery, not least the trip to champions Liverpool on February 7 (City 4/9, Liverpool 8/1 – Premier League Outright).

Following a sluggish start to the campaign and a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham in November, the Citizens have been moving menacingly into contention on all fronts, enjoying a 16-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.

Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa was their ninth consecutive win and helped move them to within two points of Premier League leaders Manchester United, with a game in hand and better goal difference.

However, that success has come at a pretty big cost with De Bruyne sustaining a hamstring injury and the Belgian ace is now set to be sidelined for up to six weeks.

As well as the fixture at Anfield, De Bruyne looks likely to also miss games against Tottenham and Arsenal in the Premier League, while he is set to play no part in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash with Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany on February 24 (Gladbach 4/1, Draw 16/5, City 4/7 – 1st Leg Match Betting).

The Manchester derby on March 6 may also come too soon and Guardiola accepts that the news is a massive blow, calling on his squad to “find a solution”.

“The doctor said after reviewing the scan Kevin will be out for four to six weeks. It’s a big blow, but we have to move forward,” said Guardiola.

“I’m not saying anything that anyone doesn’t know, it is unfortunate for him and for us and we have to find a solution because everyone in their own life is struggling in the situation we are living in and we have to adapt.”

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