Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne available for Man City at Arsenal - Pep Guardiola
MANCHESTER -- Pep Guardiola will have all his World Cup players to choose from for Manchester City's Premier League opener at Arsenal on Sunday.
Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne reached the semifinals with England and Belgium respectively and only returned to first team training on Monday after three weeks' holiday.
But Guardiola said both players returned in good condition and will go into the squad for the Premier League clash with Unai Emery's Arsenal at the Emirates.
"They are available," Guardiola told a news conference. "They have quality, Raheem and Kevin. Three weeks off after World Cup and both arrive in perfect way. Straight away Sterling is fit. And Kevin arrived in the perfect way."
However, Guardiola will not have midfielder Douglas Luiz after revealing the Brazilian midfielder was turned down for a work permit. The City boss hoped the 20-year-old could have filled the role of back-up holding midfielder to Fernandinho after failing to secure a player in that position in the transfer window.
And Guardiola said he couldn't understand the Home Office's decision to turn down a visa. "We are going to try to help him to go on loan again and try to get the work permit," he said.
"It's so difficult for me to understand. One guy who doesn't see the player or any training sessions every day has to judge if [Douglas] has the ability and quality to play.
"I accept the rules but I don't understand because anybody in the world can work wherever he wants. The manager from Brazil and myself know more than the guys who decide he is not able to play. I am so sad and disappointed for Douglas because he could help us."
The clash will be Emery's first in charge at the Emirates and Guardiola -- who has never lost in 10 matches against the new Arsenal boss -- added: "He's an excellent manager. What he achieved at Sevilla, winning three Europa Leagues in a row. He's an excellent manager so it's good for the Premier League."