Pep Guardiola provides Kyle Walker fitness update ahead of Man City v Real Madrid

Pep Guardiola said he is hopefully Kyle Walker will be available to face Real Madrid.Pep Guardiola said he is hopefully Kyle Walker will be available to face Real Madrid.
Pep Guardiola said he is hopefully Kyle Walker will be available to face Real Madrid.
The Manchester City defender is a doubt for the Champions League quarter-final second leg.

Pep Guardiola has said he hopes Kyle Walker will be available to face Real Madrid in Wednesday’s quarter-final second leg, and will make a decision after Tuesday’s final training session.

The Manchester City captain has missed the last five games after picking up a hamstring injury on international duty last month and is a major fitness doubt ahead of the pivotal Champions League clash, which is tied at 3-3 from last week’s meeting in Spain.

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Walker, along with fellow defender Nathan Ake, returned to the bench at the weekend for the 5-1 win over Luton Town and it’s hoped he could be involved against Madrid.

“I'm going to see the training. He trained good, he feels something but he feels good with his mood and face,” explained Guardiola. “I don't know from the beginning or from the bench but I think he will be with us tomorrow and, like Bernardo [Silva] said, it is incredibly good news for many reasons.

“You know the physicality is massively important and in football it is how you challenge your opponent. Everyone knows the quality Kyle has but he was not in the Bernabeu and all the guys were exceptional.

“It's important that Kyle and Nathan feel good. They trained yesterday and feel good. That is good news. After, we will decide.”

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Walker’s selection - or lack of - could be the deciding factor in Wednesday’s game given his experience dealing with the world’s best wide players. The former Tottenham Hotspur man has previously coped extremely well with the challenges of facing Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Junior, and City have conceded considerably more without Walker in the side against Madrid in recent years.

He wasn’t on the pitch for City’s late collapse two years ago, when Madrid staged an incredible late comeback to progress to the final. It was a game that showed Madrid’s remarkable habit of grinding out wins in the competition, but Guardiola said he is not scared of the 14-time European champions.

“No I don't fear them. I respect them a lot, I've faced them many times. I'm not going to talk great things about them give you my opinion, I respect Real Madrid. And if I say I'm scared of them, I would be false.

“Real Madrid in this competition is always a big game. It's special for me, as a player and manager. But this doesn't count, what counts is what we have to do to win tomorrow.

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“We have to adjust some things that we didn't do good in the Bernabeu, but the result was really good, more than fine, but we have to perform a little bit better. We have the last training today and we will talk about that and go for it.”

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