In a highly anticipated UEFA Champions League semi-final clash between Real Madrid and Manchester City, the latter may have to make do without defender Nathan Ake.
The Dutch international, who recently returned from injury, suffered a fresh one during City’s Premier League fixture against Leeds United on Saturday. As a result, he has not seen training with the rest of the team ahead of tomorrow’s game, casting doubt on his participation.
This news could be a blow to City’s manager Pep Guardiola, as Ake has been a key part of his new system at the club. The versatile defender has played 38 times in all competitions this season, at center back and left back, and has even scored three goals. Guardiola will likely provide a clearer picture of Ake’s readiness during his pre-match press conference.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid will also face their own injury concerns. Midfielder Dani Ceballos will be sidelined due to a thigh injury, and defender Eder Militao is suspended for the first leg. Left-back Ferland Mendy’s participation is also uncertain.
This will be a repeat of last season’s semi-final clash between the two teams, which saw City knocked out on the verge of qualifying for the final. With revenge on their minds, they will hope to come out on top this time around.
Real Madrid, however, have a storied history in the competition, having won it a record 13 times. They will be looking to make it to the final once again, and have the home advantage in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Both teams have impressive squads and have shown their quality throughout the competition so far. City’s attacking prowess, led by the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez, will be pitted against Real Madrid’s solid defense, anchored by Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
In addition to Ake’s injury, City will also be without left-back Benjamin Mendy, who is suspended, and midfielder Tom Palmer, who is injured. Real Madrid, on the other hand, will be without Militao and Ceballos.
Despite the injury concerns for both teams, this promises to be an exciting and highly competitive clash. With a place in the final on the line, both teams will be eager to give it their all and come out on top. The first leg kicks off tomorrow at 8:00 PM BST.