‘Happiness is overestimated!’ – Man City boss Guardiola discusses Haaland form and De Bruyne fitness

Kevin De Bruyne remains a doubt for Manchester City’s Premier League trip to Bournemouth on Saturday, according to Pep Guardiola.

The Belgium playmaker missed City’s draw at RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday due to illness.

Manager Guardiola expected the player to be involved in training on Friday afternoon but it was unclear whether he would be ready to feature at the Vitality Stadium.

Defender Aymeric Laporte, who also missed out in midweek after feeling unwell, and thigh injury victim John Stones are unlikely to return.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday lunchtime, Guardiola said: “We have training this afternoon.

“I think Kevin is back to training, Ayme I don’t think so. John maybe will do partial.

“We will see later. Kevin, maybe (will be available), but the other two – I don’t think so.”

On their trip to Bournemouth, Guardiola added: “I saw many things I like about Bournemouth. The game against Wolves, the draw with Newcastle, how tough it is, the defeat in the last minute to Brighton.

“They are so intense in their pressing. They want to play in different shapes; the wingers want to play really well with Dominic Solanke up front; Philip Billing has quality. This season every game is so tough.”

On a tough run of fixtures away from home, Guardiola continued: “We played West Ham and then after just three days, went to Arsenal, after three days we go to Nottingham Forest. I was really impressed against Forest because it was demanding against Arsenal; then we went to Leipzig and played another demanding game.

“Our fatigue is there but we have to find energy from somewhere.”

Asked whether Man City striker Erling Haaland is getting frustrated, Guardiola replied: “In the last game, you are right [he didn’t touch the ball enough] but against Nottingham no. Do don’t make the one game like a theory. Because he had the chances at Nottingham in the first and the second half.

“But of course, we have to and will improve. We talked about that many times and it’s going to happen. Striker is the most difficult position in the world, because they have two players just focus on him and now for Erling, they have an extra more.

“So it’s not easy to do that. I would like to see… in my period here the strikers that we had like Sergio, Gabriel, when we play a proper striker not false-9 or a different way, how many balls do they touch?

“So I don’t know, I don’t have the statistics but always our [play] is not have the ball striker, have the ball striker, have the ball striker. It happened against Arsenal because Arsenal go man-to-man, you should play more long balls.

“Our process is more and the final action is there. But even with that we have to all the time, one eye where is he, where is he. Lately in the last game I would agree with you we didn’t, I said more control, more passes than usual.

“I don’t want to let them win. Really intense in the first half, in the second we dropped a little bit we were not correct in the first step in the high pressing and that’s wy we struggled a little bit.

“[We] defend more deeper and the quality they have Leipzig always you suffer. But you’re right, in that game we should have looked for him more but in the previous ones I don’t have that feeling.

“Of course it’s fine [if he’s frustrated], I am frustrated too, you are frustrated too in your life sometimes isn’t it? It happens. Happiness is overestimated!”

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