Manchester City are preparing for a crucial Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Wednesday, and they have received some mixed news on the injury front.
City will almost surely be without defender Nathan Ake, who has struggled with a niggling hamstring injury, and missed the team’s 3 - 0 win over Everton on Sunday.
Guardiola has said this season that Ake is an important option for his defence, and not having him on the field is not ideal against Real Madrid’s potent attack. Before the Everton game, Guardiola did state that Ake is “feeling much better”, but there won’t be a confirmation either way until tomorrow’s pre-game press conference and training session.
On the other hand, City have been handed a boost by the availability of midfielder Rodri, who was substituted late on against Everton with a slight limp. Rodri has been a regular starter for City this season, and is vital for City’s ball progression, transition defense, and overall midfield organization.
Guardiola said Rodri was fine and ready to play on Wednesday. “He is OK. He had a little bit of pain but nothing serious. He trained well and he is hungry to play.”
City will hope to have most of their players fit and firing as they face Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final at the Etihad Stadium. The first leg ended 1-1 in Spain. After the game, Guardiola warned his players not to be complacent and to respect their opponents.
“We know how difficult it will be. They are a very strong team with a lot of experience and quality. We have to play our best game to reach the final.”