Men's Team

Guardiola confident in Fernandinho centre-back option

Guardiola confident in Fernandinho centre-back option
Pep Guardiola says Fernandinho is more than capable of filling in at centre-back for City’s Premier League clash away to Wolves in the potential absence of Nathan Ake.

City travel to Molineux for Wednesday’s 22:30 (UK) kick-off knowing we are just three matches from sealing back-to-back league titles.

However, with Guardiola revealing that Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker would be unavailable for the remainder of the season following our 5-0 triumph over Newcastle at the weekend, the boss’ defensive options are limited.

With Ake also nursing an ankle complaint, the Catalan was asked whether Fernandinho would be considered for selection at the heart of defence against Bruno Lage’s men.

And although he provided a positive update on Ake’s recovery, Guardiola insisted he has every faith in our Club captain to step up to the plate if he is called upon.

“I will say yes. Of course, I have faith,” the boss said of Fernandinho.

Fernandinho played as a full back in the semi-final of the Champions League and as a holding midfielder in the semi-final of the Champions League, maybe he will play central defender.

“It’s a position he knows from the past. I've said many times that when we arrive in these moments, everyone does extra for the team.

Fernandinho is more than capable of doing that.

“Today (Nathan Ake) trained. He feels better.

“I saw him moving a little bit better but he has a disturbance in the ankle.

“He will be on the list, when we said we have 13 first team players and a half… the half is Nathan. Hopefully it can become 14 players.”

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With the battle for top spot with Liverpool going down to the wire, Guardiola’s men know every point between now and the end of the season could have a huge bearing on our prospects of retaining the Premier League.

And the City boss insists there is still plenty of work to do if we're to eventually come out on top in this season's title race.

He said: "We need seven points (to win the title), but if Liverpool need three, four or five goals in the last games to equal the goal difference, they will do it, they have the ability to score a lot of goals from nothing.

"We have a lot of (the) job to do. Nothing changes mentally in my mindset.

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"Here we have to be more careful but we have to go for it with the problems we have in one department.

"We have to win Wolves and West Ham and they are tough.

"I have the feeling that maybe Liverpool can drop one game v Tottenham - we all know how difficult it is with Antonio Conte’s teams, they have incredible buildup, sit back well and in the transitions with Kulusevski and Kane and the physicality they have.

"It can happen but I don’t think it will happen often with Liverpool again. We have to be prepared, we still have a job to do and we have to get the points.

"In the part like this, it is so nice to be here until the end but it’s in our hands: we have to win a game, win a game and we will be champions, this is the only chance we have right now."

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