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Guardiola to make late decision on Silva for Palace trip

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By Reuters
Guardiola to make late decision on Silva for Palace trip
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Fulham v Manchester City - Craven Cottage, London, Britain - March 30, 2019 Manchester City's Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/David Klein   -   Copyright  DAVID KLEIN(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Manchester City linchpin Bernardo Silva faces a late fitness test before Sunday’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace, his manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday.

The Portuguese international has emerged as one of City’s most important players this season, plugging gaps in midfield and wide attacking roles to help drive forward the club’s unprecedented bid for quadruple honours.

He was on the sidelines for City’s Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday with a muscle injury.

He is improving but still touch and go for Sunday, Guardiola told reporters. “We will see today (Friday) and tomorrow.”

Without the hard-working 24-year-old, City lacked potency in midfield against Spurs and now face an uphill task to reach the semi-finals.

“Bernardo Silva is an incredible player,” Guardiola added.

“Playing wide he is a fighter. He’s so intelligent and clever defensively. He knows when to cut back inside and with the ball, he can do anything.”

In the league, City have 80 points, two points behind leaders Liverpool but with a game in hand.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet)