Zinchenko available for Man City despite worry for Ukraine

February 25, 2022 GMT
Manchester City's goalkeeper Zack Steffen throws the ball to Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko, left, during an English FA Cup fourth round soccer match between Manchester City and Fulham at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester City's goalkeeper Zack Steffen throws the ball to Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko, left, during an English FA Cup fourth round soccer match between Manchester City and Fulham at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester City's goalkeeper Zack Steffen throws the ball to Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko, left, during an English FA Cup fourth round soccer match between Manchester City and Fulham at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester City's goalkeeper Zack Steffen throws the ball to Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko, left, during an English FA Cup fourth round soccer match between Manchester City and Fulham at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Manchester City's goalkeeper Zack Steffen throws the ball to Manchester City's Oleksandr Zinchenko, left, during an English FA Cup fourth round soccer match between Manchester City and Fulham at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko will be available for their game at Everton on Saturday despite the Ukraine international’s concerns for his home country.

The 25-year-old Zinchenko attended a demonstration in Manchester on Thursday night after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“He is worried,” manager Pep Guardiola said Friday. “What would we feel if our country where we were born, where we have family and friends is attacked, killing innocent people, how would you feel? So I guess that’s what he feels.”

Guardiola said the club supports Zinchenko “unconditionally” as the English Premier League leader prepares to visit Merseyside.

“Oleks is an incredible, strong guy. Of course it’s not easy in the moment but playing in the training session like yesterday he was brilliant so he’s ready to play just in case he has to play.”

Meanwhile, West Ham has granted compassionate leave to 32-year-old winger Andriy Yarmolenko, who is Ukraine’s second all-time leading goalscorer.

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“He’s not in a really good position at the moment,” manager David Moyes said Friday. “I spoke with him on Thursday at the training ground and he was upset, which you can imagine and rightly so. We just hope everything goes well and all his family members keep safe.”

West Ham hosts Wolverhampton on Sunday.

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