By Sam Stone

22nd Dec, 2022 | 4:10pm

Injury Expert: Julian Alvarez ruled out of Manchester City showdown v Leeds United in blow for Pep Guardiola

Julian Alvarez has been ruled out of Manchester City’s trip to Leeds United with the striker yet to return from international duty with Argentina, according to injury expert Ben Dinnery.

Pep Guardiola confirmed he will miss City’s Carabao Cup tie against Liverpool on Thursday (22 December) with the 22-year-old set to be allowed an extended break after his country’s World Cup triumph (Manchester Evening News, 21 December).

However, it’s since been suggested by Dinnery (via his Premier Injuries website) that Alvarez is now out of the Elland Road clash, with a return pencilled in for the new year.

The striker was in fine form for Argentina in Qatar, scoring four goals in seven matches to help secure a third World Cup trophy for his country.

Big boost

This will be a significant boost for Leeds, with Alvarez really starting to find his feet in the Premier League. He’s bound to be full of confidence and relishing the chance to return to his club and continue his good form. However, there’s a more obvious threat for Jesse Marsch to consider with Erling Haaland eagerly waiting to continue his mesmeric goalscoring form.

The Norwegian has had over a month off to ensure he’s back to full fitness and match sharp for when Guardiola’s side kickstart their assault on the Premier League title. It’s fairly obvious, but Leeds’ defence simply have to be at their best if they wish to stop the goalscoring machine from finding the back of the net.

It’s certainly a tough test to restart their campaign, but Leeds have actually faired well against the so-called big six teams in the 2022/23 season. They’ve beaten Liverpool and Chelsea and managed to make life extremely hard for Arsenal at Elland Road.

West Yorkshire is a tough place to visit, and this won’t be all plain sailing for the Premier League champions.

In other Leeds United news, a pundit reacted to a controversial Joe Gelhardt moment in the Monaco defeat.