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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola delivers defender boost ahead of Manchester derby

Manchester City Training and Press Conference
(Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Manchester City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola delivers defender boost ahead of Manchester derby

Pep Guardiola has told his pre-Manchester United press conference – as per the Manchester Evening News – that Nathan Ake has returned to training after a spell on the sidelines through injury and could be available for selection this weekend.

City play host to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stuttering United on Sunday evening, as they look to make it 22 successive wins with all three points over their bitter rivals. Certainly, they are favourite and even more so after Guardiola’s latest update.

Summer signing Ake, 26, has only been afforded nine appearances for the club since joining from Manchester City. His absence came out the worst time, with City becoming increasingly solid in his absence. John Stones and Ruben Dias are on fire.

 

Asked about Ake and any other injury concerns, Guardiola confirmed that £40million signing (Goal) Ake has returned to training after a long-term hamstring problem that has seen him miss 13 consecutive Premier League fixtures.

“It’s good news, Nathan is back, he played part of the training session and felt really good. Everyone is fit. It’s impotant for the next weeks, before the international break. Hopefully after the international break everyone feels well,” Guardiola said.

Manchester City Unveil New Signing Nathan Ake

(Photo by Victoria Haydn/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

TBR’s view – Ake will not start, but gives City another option

The Netherlands international offers plenty of versatility and while he is unlikely to start against United – with Stones and Dias likely to be given the nod, he hands Guardiola another option in his problem position on the left side of the defence.

Right-footed Joao Cancelo and the inconsistent Oleksandr Zinchenko have been used this season, while Benjamin Mendy was left out of the side against Wolves – amid reports that PSG are keen. Ake hands Guardiola another option there, if he needs it.

Manchester City v Newcastle United - Premier League

(Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

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