Manchester City’s Kyle Walker in contention for Real Madrid clash, John Stones ruled out
Manchester City right back Kyle Walker is in contention to face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final, second leg on Wednesday, manager Pep Guardiola said, but centre back John Stones remains unavailable through injury.
Walker has not played since coming off injured against Atletico Madrid in last month’s Champions League quarter-final, and Guardiola said he will make a late call on the 31-year-old’s fitness for the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Fellow England international Stones limped off in City’s 4-3 victory over Real at the Etihad Stadium last week and missed Saturday’s Premier League win at Leeds United.
“Walker trained and he will travel. We will decide tomorrow. He is three weeks without training but happy he is back … (Stones) is not fit,” Guardiola told a news conference on Tuesday.
City will look to reach their second straight Champions League final when they take on newly-crowned LaLiga champions Real in the Spanish capital and hope to atone for last year’s loss to Chelsea in the showdown in Porto.
“Two good teams, we saw it one week ago. They are champions in Spain, we are trying to be champions here,” Guardiola, whose side lead the Premier League by one point from Liverpool, added. “We saw in the other game things we have to improve and we are going to try and do it.”
Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who scored the opening goal against Real in the first leg in Manchester last week, said winning City’s first Champions League title would change perceptions around the club.
City have been a dominant force in England since the arrival of Guardiola in 2016 but remain in search of their first Champions League title, while opponents Real have won the trophy a record 13 times.
“We have not won it but winning it would change that little narrative… It would change the perspective from the outside,” De Bruyne said. “The fact we’ve been fighting for numerous years and getting to the latter stages means we’ve been doing really well.
“I back my team to perform at the high level needed to win the game tomorrow… Everybody is anticipating a great game and we will try and bring out the best we have and hopefully progress to (the final in) Paris.”
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.
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