It’s been a season of misfortune for Dream Team fans who favour Aymeric Laporte.
Man City’s star centre-back has been missing for a large chunk of the season through injury, with the Frenchman sitting out of every game since mid-September before returning last month.
But after making just four appearances since his recovery, he’s now potentially set to face another troublesome spell on the sidelines.
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Laporte limped off during City’s terrific 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, lasting just 32 minutes before he was replaced by Fernandinho.
The 25-year-old looked suitably devastated as he trudged off the field, although City have yet to confirm the severity of his latest set-back.
However, manager Pep Guardiola hinted that he’s already preparing for Laporte’s absence in the second-leg of their round of 16 clash.
He said: “He’s injured and it’s a problem of being out injured for four or five months and then coming back still mending.
“It’s a pity because we dream to be with him until the end but unfortunately we have suffered a lot this season in this department.
“But I am sure with John (Stones), Eric (Garcia), Nick (Otamendi) and Fernandinho we’ll go through.”
Laporte did suffer a small hamstring problem during his first game back against Sheffield United in January, and it kept him out for a further three games afterwards.
It has been suggested that this injury could be a recurrence of that, especially as he appeared to be clutching his left leg as he walked off the pitch.
While not ideal, this would be better case scenario than the knee-related injury he’s had for the majority of the season.
Either way, this a blow for City and also causes another selection headache for Dream Team managers at a particularly tricky time of year.
Laporte has been one of fantasy football’s most popular defenders since his Premier League arrival in 2018; evident by the large number of you that selected him again upon his return from injury.
His importance to City has been re-established with the title-holders not conceding a single goal while he’s been back in action; in stark contrast to their defensive struggles with the bumbling Otamendi and Stones in the back-line.
Laporte’s return was considered vital to City’s ambitions for the rest of the season, with the Blues seemingly focusing on winning the Champions League – with Liverpool so far ahead of them in the Premier League title race.
The decision not to replace former-captain Vincent Kompany in the summer with a reliable centre-back option has been one of the consistent drawbacks of their campaign, and has occasionally resulted in Pep deploying 34-year-old midfielder Fernandinho as a makeshift defender.
Dream Team fans may also have to consider other options for their next Game Week, with Harry Maguire (£3.7m), Joe Gomez (£3.3m) and Matt Doherty popular alternatives on the game at the moment.
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