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Monday 15. April 2024 - 09:07

Pep Guardiola says injured star defender could get minutes as he considers Real Madrid clash ‘a final’

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that key defender Kyle Walker could feature against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg tie at the Etihad.

The England international has been absent for City even since picking up an injury during the recent international break.

The full-back also missed the first-leg encounter at the Bernabeu, but Guardiola has mentioned that he might get a few minutes of action this Wednesday.

"Kyle Walker feels much better, maybe he can help with minutes against Real Madrid because it’s a final," the City manager was quoted by Fabrizio Romano.

Guardiola added that he does not want to take any risk with Walker, meaning that the player’s sensations will determine his availability for the home leg.

"But I don’t want to lose him for a long time… we will decide in the next few days," he added.

When Walker is in top form, he is a surefire choice to face Real Madrid. However, since he is only recovering from a hamstring injury, things are a bit different.

Manchester City and Guardiola won’t want to take any chances with their captain, fearing that there is a chance of a major relapse.

Nonetheless, Walker’s skills are perfectly suited to neutralize Real Madrid’s attacking prowess, especially Vinicius Jr. The two have put on a great show in the past two seasons, but the last outing missed this exciting contest.

As such, keep an eye on this intriguing subplot as we approach Wednesday night’s showdown at the Etihad Stadium.

As for Real Madrid, manager Carlo Ancelotti is expected to recall Vinicius, Rodrygo, Dani Carvajal, and Toni Kroos to the starting XI after they were rested against Mallorca.

However, they are facing a decision in defence, as Antonio Rudiger might pair up with anyone from Nacho, Eder Militao, or Aurelien Tchouameni.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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