Pep Guardiola gives injury update on Nathan Ake as Man City players set mentality challenge.
Guardiola gives positive injury update on City defender Ake
Pep Guardiola says that Nathan Ake is feeling much better but is still not back training with the team.
Ake picked up a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich and has missed subsequent matches with Sheffield United and Arsenal. The match against Fulham on Sunday is also likely to come too soon given the Dutch defender has not been able to return to training.
However, the manager was upbeat on the player’s fitness even if he was not able to give an exact date for his return. “He’s much better, he feels really good,” said Guardiola. “The player knows his body and his reaction. But he is still not training with the team. I don’t think it will be much longer. Maybe tomorrow comes and the doctor says he is ready to train, but I think not.”
Sergio Gomez played at left-back in the FA Cup game before Manu Akanji was a surprise choice to go up against Bukayo Saka when Arsenal came to the Etihad. Guardiola spoke of his dilemma after the game, admitting that Aymeric Laporte was the best pick for build-up but that Akanji had been so good in his duels against Bayern Munich that he trusted him against Arsenal.
Guardiola sets mentality challenge to City squad after Arsenal win
Pep Guardiola hasn’t forgotten the last time Manchester City beat Arsenal to take a big step forward in the Premier League title race.
City completed the double over Arsenal this week to move to within two points of the Gunners with two games in hand. After being as far as eight points behind Arsenal earlier in the campaign, City have been able to take control of the title race, but Guardiola is keen for them to back up their big win when they travel to Fulham on Sunday.
After picking up three crucial points at the Emirates Stadium in February, City quickly gave Arsenal the opportunity to put additional distance between the teams when the Blues dropped points at Nottingham Forest the next game. Guardiola is eager for his team to follow up their win over Arsenal with three points to momentarily take the lead and deliver another psychological blow.
Guardiola spoke of what he expects from his players in their final games of the season, citing the Forest draw as an example of the need to win every game possible and keep the title in their own hands after noting that the mood in the City dressing room is positive and determined following the Arsenal win.