Men's Team

City v Watford: Guardiola updates on fitness of defensive trio

Pep Guardiola will make a late decision on whether Nathan Ake, John Stones and Kyle Walker will be involved against Watford on Saturday.

Walker has missed City’s last two games with an injury he suffered in the second leg of our Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid, but Guardiola says his condition is improving.

Ake and Stones were both withdrawn early against Brighton on Wednesday. The Dutchman came off with what appeared to be a leg problem, whilst his defensive partner reported muscle tightness.

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Guardiola admitted both were minor concerns, but says the centre-back duo will be assessed alongside Walker ahead of the Hornets’ visit to the Etihad Stadium.

“He is getting better,” revealed the boss when asked about his right-back.

“We will see tomorrow.

“[John had] a niggle. Little problems, like Nathan. Today we make an assessment, tomorrow we decide.”

City have had numerous injury concerns in recent weeks, after what has been a particularly hectic April.

The Premier League leaders have played seven times already this month, with Saturday’s fixture against Watford our fifth game in 13 days.

It means the players have had minimal recovery time and Guardiola admits he has had to manage his squad carefully between matches.

“When you have just three days the day after the game the guys who didn't play train properly, the others refresh for tomorrow,” he added.

“We try to avoid extra energy and keep it for the right time. We finished the game [Brighton] at 10pm and we play at 3pm tomorrow. I

“In that time it’s just [about] refreshing the head.”

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