Man City defender Nathan Ake has been ruled out of the title showdown against Arsenal and is a doubt for the Champions League tie with Real Madrid.
- Left-back still out with hamstring injury
- Guardiola unsure if Ake can face Real
- Coach praised ‘unstoppable’ Arsenal
WHAT HAPPENED? Pep Guardiola confirmed Nathan Ake is still suffering from a hamstring injury sustained last week against Bayern Munich and is not available for Wednesday’s crucial Premier League match against title rivals Arsenal. He is also a doubt for the first leg of the Champions League semi-final away to Real Madrid on May 9.
WHAT THEY SAID: “Hopefully he can come back soon but for tomorrow he is out. Don’t know about Madrid,” Guardiola told a press conference. Ake has been City’s first-choice left back since the World Cup but the manager was confident his side would find a solution against the Gunners: “We will find the right player to do it, I don’t have doubts about that, we’ll play with 11,” he added.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: City head into Wednesday’s game trailing Arsenal by five points although they have two games in hand on Mikel Arteta’s side and victory would see them take a big step towards retaining the title. Guardiola praised Arsenal’s relentless start to the season and said it was difficult for his side to keep up.
“I didn’t think we made a bad season, where we dropped a lot of games. The problem was that Arsenal were unstoppable, they made 50 points in one round [first half of the season]. When this happens then hats off,” the Catalan said. “But we didn’t drop much compared to the previous seasons. At the end we have been consistent, kept believing and now this is the situation. At home, where we are comfortable, with our people. I know everyone will be there. And we will feel them. Hopefully our football can help them feel it more and more and after our players will do their best.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
GettyGetty ImagesGetty Images
WHAT NEXT? After hosting Arsenal, City visit Fulham on Sunday.
Who is Arsenal’s most important player?
Thanks for voting.
Results will be shared soon.