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Pep Guardiola confirms Key defender will be out of Champions League clash.

Israel Oluwaseg Lawal
Israel Oluwaseg Lawal
Manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that defender Nathan Ake will not be available for Manchester City in their upcoming UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.

Manchester City have been dealt a blow ahead of their UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid as manager Pep Guardiola confirmed that defender Nathan Ake will miss the crucial match. Ake has been struggling with fitness issues in recent weeks and was unable to recover in time for the highly anticipated clash at the Etihad Stadium.

The 28-year-old had previously missed a couple of Premier League games in late April but made a return to action before the first leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, Ake suffered an injury during a match against Leeds United just a few days before the match against the Spanish giants, forcing him to sit out of the first leg.

 

Guardiola addressed the media at a press conference and stated that

“Except Nathan, everyone is fit”

for the decisive encounter against Real Madrid. The news means that midfield stalwart Rodri is available for selection, having previously been a doubt due to physical discomfort during Manchester City’s last Premier League game against Everton.

With the tie finely balanced at 1-1 after the first leg, Guardiola acknowledged that his players will need to put in a top performance if they are to overcome the challenge of Real Madrid.

“The players have to make an incredible performance to beat Madrid. I have an idea to be more different, more fluid in attack. It will happen naturally at home, we feel free, doesn’t matter, we go,” said the City boss.

When asked about Real Madrid’s success in the Champions League over the years, Guardiola praised their quality players, stating that

“Without that standard they wouldn’t achieve”. However, he remained focused on his own team’s strengths and threats, adding that “We’ll try to impose ourselves on the game. We know what we can do. We want to minimise their threats.”

As the stage is set for a fascinating encounter at the Etihad, the absence of Ake will undoubtedly be a setback for Guardiola and his team, but they will be confident of putting in a strong performance and securing a place in the final of the competition.

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