Nathan Ake was seen limping off during Manchester City’s recent win against Newcastle United. The Dutchman was forced to leave the pitch with only 8 minutes into the second half of the game and was replaced by Kyle Walker. It was Nathan Ake’s second successive start after returning from a hamstring injury and the centre-back had to limp off down the tunnel.
Manchester City travel to the capital of Spain on 9th May for an all-important Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola has only one feather missing under his armoury and that is the biggest European title. He would not want to be complacent in any form and play with his A team.
The Spanish manager does know Real Madrid as close as anyone and is aware of the attacking threat they possess. Guardiola would not want to lose his one of the standout performers of this season in their most important match.
The 28-year-old heavily built bloke would not want to miss the first leg of the Champions League semi-final and so wouldn’t his manager. Pep Guardiola, therefore, took Ake off the match as soon as he was seen sitting down on the turf in anguish and pain.
Nathan Ake has been Guardiola’s knight at the back line since Joao Cancelo’s loan departure to Bayern. Ake has been a key cog for Pep from the time he has played in the left flank of the versatile back four. Whether Ake will play or not we will have to see.
If he doesn’t, Guardiola has a fair pool of players to replace him. He may start the game with Manuel Akanji who had impressed one and all in the left side against Arsenal and Fulham. Or we can also see left-footed Aymeric Laporte start in that position if Peo does not go with Rico Lewis who finished on the left in the game against Leeds.
Manchester City have a busy 20-day period up ahead with 7 games to play and it therefore becomes a selection headache for Pep Guardiola as to who he should start with.