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Abdulazeez Adeshina
National Open University of Nigeria
Bsc. Economics
200Level, Nigeria.
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Kevin De Bruyne ’ s wretched luck with injury has given Bernardo Silva the chance to continue his superb start to the season in Sunday ’ s Premier League visit of Southampton to the Etihad .

Playmaker De Bruyne injured ligaments in his left knee during Thursday’ s League Cup win against Fulham — just his second start of the season — sidelining him for five to six weeks.

And that has all but assured Bernardo Silva ’ s spot in the City first team for as many as the next seven games as he continues to shine in De Bruyne ’ s absence .

The Portuguese ’ s form will soften the blow of having to do without De Bruyne next week’ s Manchester derby for coach Pep Guardiola, who said that he will not rush the Belgian back into action when he does recover.

“ It ’ s not about the derby, that’ s three points, like Southampton . The Manchester derby will not be a final, it’ s another game, ” said Guardiola on Friday.

“ When you come back you cannot expect him to be the player we know he is in one day. He needs time to settle, take the pace , the rhythm , everything. ”

De Bruyne initially injured his right knee after the opening game of the season, forcing him out for just over two months and allowing Bernardo to showcase his talents.

It proved a glorious opportunity for the Portuguese , signed from Monaco for £43 million ( $56 million) last year and limited to just 15 league starts last season as he struggled to compete for regular football among City ’ s talented squad .

– Formidable –

This season, Bernardo has started all but one league game to date and could almost match last season’ s total of 15 starts by the time De Bruyne is ready to return to action at the end of the calendar year .

He has also contributed greatly to City’ s unbeaten start to the domestic campaign , scoring three goals and forming a formidable midfield partnership with David Silva and Fernandinho .

However, De Bruyne ’ s recent return had inevitably sparked speculation over which City player would make room to accommodate the Belgian , who was arguably the team ’ s best performer in last season’ s record-breaking title - winning campaign.

Bernardo appeared the most likely candidate to make way, so De Bruyne ’ s fresh injury will keep the 24-year - old on the team sheet for at least the next few weeks.

Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and defender Nicolas Otamendi are the only other injury absentees for the visit of Southampton , managed by former City boss Mark Hughes .

The last time City faced the Saints, on the final day of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign, Guardiola’ s side required a last- minute winner from Gabriel Jesus to beat Hughes ’ s team and break through the 100-point barrier.

That result followed another last-gasp deciding strike from Raheem Sterling in the meeting between the clubs at the Etihad in November, and Guardiola is expecting a similarly difficult test this time around .

“ When I see them it’ s a surprise they are in the position they are in, ” said the City manager .

“ I ’ m impressed with the players they have.

We suffered a lot last season, against ( former Southampton manager Mauricio) Pellegrino and Hughes .

“ They are so deep, so physical, it was so complicated to beat them . We have to be sharp , move well in small spaces, be clever and concede few set pieces. They ’ ll have had a week to prepare , it will be tough . ”

Source:- punchng.com/bernardo-silva-ready-to-shine-for-man-city-after-de-bruynes-injury/

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