City winger Mahrez given week off after Africa Cup of Nations, says Guardiola

Algeria’s forward Riyad Mahrez (left) vies with Equatorial Guinea’s defender Carlos Akapo during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations 2021 match at Stade de Japoma in Douala, January 16, 2022. — AFP pic

MANCHESTER, Jan 21 — Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Algeria international Riyad Mahrez will not be involved in tomorrow’s Premier League trip to Southampton after being given a week off following his team’s early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Algeria captain Mahrez, 30, missed a penalty in yesterday’s 3-1 defeat by Ivory Coast as the holders crashed out in the group stage of the tournament in Cameroon.

“He has a holiday for a week. After Afcon he has permission for one week off and will come back with the team next week,” Guardiola told a news conference today.

Guardiola added Nathan Ake will be back in the squad but Oleksandr Zinchenko will remain absent, after both players missed last week’s win over Chelsea.

City, leading the league standings with 56 points, have not dropped a point since losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace back in October and will look for their 13th straight win when they travel to the south coast tomorrow.

Ralph Hasenhuettl’s Southampton, who held City to a goalless draw earlier this season, have won only five times so far but Guardiola heaped praise on his counterpart and opponents ahead of the match.

“They have the best free-kick taker in the world,” he said, referring to midfielder James Ward-Prowse. “As a set-piece taker, he is exceptional.

“The quality they have, the manager is exceptional, one of the best in the Premier League by far… It’s always a tough game. Our players know we have an incredible challenge tomorrow.” — Reuters

UFC 'are planning August 20 showdown between Kamaru Usman and British star Leon Edwards' if champion recovers from hand injury

Minamino seems happy to revel in his cult hero status and Origi has a knack for big goals but Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gomez need more game time... Klopp's 'Ferraris in the garage' at Liverpool and whether they're really content with a bit-part role

Xi Jinping’s dream of China hosting the Fifa World Cup now appears to be further away than ever

Biniam Girmay pulls out of the Giro d'Italia after suffering bleeding to his EYE when he was struck by an exploding champagne cork on the podium... just moments after making history by becoming the first black African winner of a Grand Tour stage

'I was p****d off and people haven't taken me seriously': Tony Ferguson opens up on 'underlying' problems he has with the UFC and hits out at executive for 'forgetting he signed a contract'

Fuming Liverpool fans accuse legendary Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler of describing their goals 'like a reading at a funeral' - and he even admits 'we support the underdogs... you can't call Liverpool an underdog'

Concerns over Rangers' fans have dominated the build-up to their Europa League final with Frankfurt but now the focus is on the pitch... Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side stand on the brink of European glory in Seville

Manchester United 'are in talks with Ajax over £35m deal for Jurrien Timber - with Erik ten Hag wanting to bring young defensive star with him to Old Trafford as his first signing'

England name Australia's Matthew Mott as their new white-ball coach... with three-time women's World Cup-winning supremo pipping Paul Collingwood to role after signing a four-year deal with the ECB

Hong Kong cricket captain Kary Chan welcomes FairBreak decision to return to city in 2023

Video shows Eileen Gu back on half-pipe after 3 month break, says she is ‘fallin in love all over again’

Arsenal and Liverpool target Cody Gakpo admits 'anything can happen this summer' regarding his future... but the Dutch Player of the Year insists he MUST be playing regularly ahead of World Cup in Qatar

Manchester United should sign Jarrod Bowen from West Ham - and he 'would get in the team wherever he likes!', insists Andy Townsend

Rafa Benitez insists his Liverpool side can't be compared to Jurgen Klopp's because he 'signs £40m players for the bench'... and Spaniard tells all on life at Everton (where a player got injured dropping FURNITURE on himself!)

Sheffield United footballer Billy Sharp slams 'scumbag' who headbutted the ex-Nottingham Forest star in playoff pitch invasion and says 'one mindless idiot ruined an unbelievable night of football'

Clean your boots, sweep the dressing room, do your homework and learn English! The rules set by coach Javier Mascherano to his Argentina U20 players as ex-Liverpool and Barcelona star tries to develop them as people as well as players

NEWS RELATED

Premier League presentation teams will be at Man City AND Liverpool as title race goes down to the wire... but the genuine trophy will be at the Etihad as official's expect Pep Guardiola's side to secure fourth crown in five seasons

The winner of the Premier League season will be crowned on Sunday afternoonManchester City are set to take on Aston Villa and win will secure them the title If City lose and Liverpool beat Wolves, they will secure the Premier League title Officials have confirmed they will set up identical presentations both stadiumsThe genuine trophy will be at the Etihad and a replica trophy will be at Liverpool

View more: Premier League presentation teams will be at Man City AND Liverpool as title race goes down to the wire... but the genuine trophy will be at the Etihad as official's expect Pep Guardiola's side to secure fourth crown in five seasons

'That doesn't define the man you are today': Jake Daniels insists he's 'proud' to be Marvin Ekpiteta's Blackpool team-mate despite his historic homophobic social media posts that emerged in the wake of the 17-year-old coming out as gay

Jake Daniels, the 17-year-old Blackpool forward, came out as the first openly gay male footballer in Britain since 1990Following Daniels' announcement, posts made by team-mate Marvin Ekpiteta from 2012 and 2013 containing homophobic tones were highlighted Ekpiteta, 26, subsequently deleted the offending posts and on Tuesday evening issued an unreserved apologyHe expressed regret for his actions a decade ago 'which do not in any way reflect the values I hold now'Daniels tweeted his support to Ekpiteta, saying the post 'doesn't define the man you are today' and insisted he is 'proud to be your teammate'

View more: 'That doesn't define the man you are today': Jake Daniels insists he's 'proud' to be Marvin Ekpiteta's Blackpool team-mate despite his historic homophobic social media posts that emerged in the wake of the 17-year-old coming out as gay

Tottenham 'target John McGinn as Antonio Conte looks to bolster his midfield with Aston Villa star for expected Champions League campaign next season'

Tottenham are interested in signing Villa midfielder John McGinn in the summerAntonio Conte is looking to add six new players to the current Tottenham squadHe thinks those new faces will help Spurs challenge from trophies next seasonMcGinn has been an ever-present figure in the Aston Villa squad this season 

View more: Tottenham 'target John McGinn as Antonio Conte looks to bolster his midfield with Aston Villa star for expected Champions League campaign next season'

Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa faces a race to be fit for next season after suffering a serious knee injury in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace... but boss Steven Gerrard allays fears he sustained ACL damage

Ezri Konsa suffered a knee injury against Crystal Palace in Sunday's 1-1 drawThe injury was first thought to be worse, with physios fearing ACL damageHe will miss 'three to four months', including Villa's final two games this season Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has a training knock and is a doubt for Thursday

View more: Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa faces a race to be fit for next season after suffering a serious knee injury in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace... but boss Steven Gerrard allays fears he sustained ACL damage

'It's going to be special': Frank Lampard urges Everton to 'tap into the atmosphere' at Goodison Park and pull themselves clear of relegation in their last home game against Crystal Palace

Frank Lampard has encouraged Everton players to feed off the crowd's energy The Toffees host Crystal Palace on Thursday in their final game of the campaignLampard is desperate for his side to pull themselves clear of the relegation zone 

View more: 'It's going to be special': Frank Lampard urges Everton to 'tap into the atmosphere' at Goodison Park and pull themselves clear of relegation in their last home game against Crystal Palace

Belgium recall big-name stars Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard for June's Nations League matches - but Roberto Martinez drops Christian Benteke and Divock Origi

World No 2 side Belgium have returned to full strength in their latest squad of 32Roberto Martinez' men embark on four Nations League games in 14 days in JuneRomelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois all come in

View more: Belgium recall big-name stars Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard for June's Nations League matches - but Roberto Martinez drops Christian Benteke and Divock Origi

Dan Biggar is confirmed as Wales captain for South Africa tour, with uncapped Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell included in 33-man squad

Wayne Pivac's Wales side face a testing series against South Africa in JulyCoach has named Dan Biggar as the captain for tourists, with squad revealedA number of players are out injured but George North is among the 33 Leicester's uncapped flanker Tommy Reffell has also earned a call-up 

View more: Dan Biggar is confirmed as Wales captain for South Africa tour, with uncapped Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell included in 33-man squad

Chelsea 'will look to complete deal for £59m Sevilla star Jules Kounde as soon as Todd Boehly's takeover is complete and UK Government sanctions end' - amid summer exodus of defenders from Stamford Bridge

Chelsea want to sign Jules Kounde as soon as possible after UK sanctions endSevilla are reportedly willing to sell quickly to identify and sign a replacementLondon club agreed deal with French defender before talks collapsed last yearKounde has a verbal agreement to join Stamford Bridge side this summer 

View more: Chelsea 'will look to complete deal for £59m Sevilla star Jules Kounde as soon as Todd Boehly's takeover is complete and UK Government sanctions end' - amid summer exodus of defenders from Stamford Bridge

'He wasn't able to play... and it wasn't the first time': Thomas Tuchel reveals Andreas Christensen has pulled out of MULTIPLE matches, before Chelsea halt questions on under-fire Barcelona-bound star

US Soccer agrees equal pay deal for women’s and men’s teams

'That Aguero goal must've got to him!': Wayne Rooney's bearded High Court appearance is mocked by former QPR keeper Paddy Kenny, who let in Man City's title-winning goal in 2012... and reckons he looks better aged 44

Should I do upper body exercises for trail running? How weight and core training improves performance and resilience

British UFC star Lerone Murphy survives ANOTHER near-death experience after being hit by car and 'almost bleeding out' as he details horrific ordeal, with ambulance taking 45 minutes to arrive... nine years after he was shot in the face and neck

Blackburn holding off Man United, Chelsea securing the crown in style against Wigan and THAT Aguero day... the EIGHT times the Premier League title went to the wire as Liverpool chase Man City

REVEALED: Nottingham Forest could be forced to play their first Premier League game this century behind closed doors after a ‘scumbag’ fan headbutted Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp on the pitch

Manchester United 'face fight with Real Madrid and PSG to sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic - and Lazio have now put £68m price tag on his head' after outstanding season in Serie A

Angel Di Maria 'feels BETRAYED' by Paris Saint-Germain with the Argentina winger set to leave the club against his wishes this summer... with no send-off planned by the Ligue 1 champions after his seven-year stint

Sarah Lee Wai-sze’s Asian Games status up in the air, as Hong Kong cycling team target track World Championships

Buffalo in the bucket hat! Injured Rangers star Alfredo Morelos takes to the streets of Seville as he is mobbed by fans ahead of Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt

Rangers Women star Nicola Docherty admits she'll by crying in Seville if Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men win the Europa League against Frankfurt... as she hails the 'fantastic' one-club mentality after winning the league title with her childhood team

OTHER NEWS