Key Man City defensive duo miss training ahead of Real Madrid Champions League semi-final

John Stones and Kyle Walker weren’t involved in Manchester City’s squad on Monday afternoon.

John Stones and Kyle Walker were not involved in Manchester City training on Monday ahead of their Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid.

Pep Guardiola revealed in his pre-match press conference that the pair were major doubts for the game, and neither were deemed fit enough to train with the squad in their final session before Real come to the Etihad.

Stones and Walker were the only senior squad members absent from the session, with 25 players involved, including Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake and Cole Palmer, all of whom have suffered from respective injury concerns in recent weeks.

Nathan Ake trained with Manchester City on Monday despite a recent ankle injury. Credit: Getty.

Assuming Stones and Walker miss out, it leaves Guardiola with a huge injury problem in defence, with only four senior players available for those positions: Dias, Ake, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake.

Joao Cancelo is suspended for the first leg, meaning City have no natural option at right-back, with Zinchenko a possibility to switch to the opposite flank, while Fernandinho could operate in that role, as could Ake.


Pep Guardiola has a selection dilemma on his hands with John Stones and Kyle Walker unlikely to play. Credit: Getty.

“I’m pretty sure the players will have to play in positions they are not used to,” Guardiola had said in his press conference just a few hours earlier.

“They [Stones and Walker] are doubts,” he added. They didn’t train, Kyle in the last week, 10 days, and John since Brighton [last Wednesday].

“Today in the training session, I do not know who will come out, and see how they feel. Tomorrow we will speak to them and see how they feel and take a decision.”

Stones picked up his problem in the 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion last week, when he was withdrawn in the latter stages due to a muscular problem.


As for Walker, he sustained his injury in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final victory over Atletico Madrid on 13 April.

Training squad in full

Foden, Edozie, Mbete, Ederson, Carson, McAtee, Lavia, Steffen, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Ake, Palmer, McAtee, Kayky, Laporte, Jesus, Sterling, Cancelo, Mahrez, Dias, Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne, Grealish, Zinchenko.