Pep Guardiola admits Man City are in ‘big trouble’ with injuries

Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City are in ‘big trouble’ with injuries approaching the final weeks of the season after losing Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker on Wednesday night.

City managed to hold off Atletico Madrid, protecting a slender aggregate lead in a hot-tempered Champions League quarter-final second leg at Wanda Metropolitano. But it came at a cost.

De Bruyne lasted just over an hour before he had to be replaced by Raheem Sterling, while Walker was swapped for Nathan Ake with just under 20 minutes left.

Having been forced to miss chunks of last season because of injury, De Bruyne has been at his brilliant best this campaign, scoring 11 Premier League goals so far and often also captaining the team in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Walker’s potential absence highlights a lack of full-back cover in the squad. Joao Cancelo is the only other natural right-back but has thrived on the left this season instead. Ake, who has also acted as cover on the left at times, is a centre-back by trade.

City are due to face Liverpool again on Saturday as they meet in the FA Cup semi-finals, the first of five games scheduled in the remaining two weeks of April alone – the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium will be on 26 April.

“We are in big trouble. We played three days ago against a tough Liverpool, travel, come here and have a lot of injuries right now,” Guradiola explained.

“I’m not sure what will happen in the next weeks, but we will celebrate at home. It’s the third time in Man City history that we are in the semi-finals of the Champions League. For us, it’s a big success and we are happy to be there.”

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