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Manchester City handed pair of injury boosts ahead of Real Madrid clash

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Manchester City handed pair of injury boosts ahead of Real Madrid clash

Manchester City have been handed a boost on the injury front ahead of the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid as Kyle Walker has been spotted training 24 hours before the game.

Walker and John Stones were expected to miss the first leg, but the latter rushed back to take part, only to be withdrawn after half an hour with a reoccurrence of his injury. Walker, however, was spared the trip.

And now, a week later, he looks set to return, which will come as a massive boost to the Manchester City faithful. Pep Guardiola will also be boosted by the return of previously suspended Joao Cancelo, meaning that both flanks of his side’s leaky defence will be bolstered.

It will also prevent Fernandinho from having to test his ageing legs against the electric Vinicius Jr, as he was asked to do for much of the first leg.

More good news for City

Meanwhile there is added good news for Manchester City as Los Blancos will be without key man David Alaba. The Austrian defender, who has been a key cornerstone of their success this season, limped off in the barnstorming first leg to be replaced by Nacho Fernandez.

And, as Real Madrid lifted the La Liga title at the weekend, Alaba watched on from the sidelines, and has not trained since, making him ‘almost certainly out’ for the game against Guardiola’s side.

On the team news front then, it seems to be advantage City.

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This article was edited by
Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 34 63 83
2 Liverpool FC 34 64 82
3 Chelsea FC 34 39 66
4 Arsenal FC 34 13 63
5 Tottenham Hotspur 34 20 61
6 Manchester United 36 5 58
7 West Ham United 35 7 52
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 34 1 49
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 35 -8 44
10 Newcastle United 35 -16 43
11 Leicester City 33 -6 42
12 Crystal Palace 34 3 41
13 Aston Villa 33 -2 40
14 Brentford FC 35 -11 40
15 Southampton FC 35 -17 40
16 Burnley FC 34 -15 34
17 Leeds United 34 -34 34
18 Everton FC 33 -20 32
19 Watford FC 34 -37 22
20 Norwich City 34 -49 21
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 22
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 19
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 18
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 15
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 14
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 13
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 12
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 12
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 11
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 11
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 10
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 10
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 10
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 10
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 10
Raphinha Leeds United 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 10
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 10





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Man City handed double boost ahead of Aston Villa

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Man City handed double boost ahead of Aston Villa

 

Premier League-chasing Manchester City have, on Thursday, been afforded an altogether timely double boost on the personnel front.

Pep Guardiola’s troops are of course primed to return to action in 72 hours’ time.

In the knowledge that a three-point haul will see them assured of back-to-back titles in the English top-flight, the Sky Blues are set to welcome Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa to the Etihad, for a final day clash.

And, after stuttering to a 2-2 stalemate with West Ham last time out, City, this time round, will likely be considerably more confident in keeping their upcoming opponents at bay.

This comes owing to a pair of timely returns to fitness in the club’s first-team ranks.

As confirmed in a post across the Citizens’ social media platforms on Thursday, John Stones and Kyle Walker, both of whom were forced to sit out at the London Stadium owing to injury, have returned to training alongside the rest of Pep Guardiola’s squad.

The two defenders, in turn, are expected to be available for selection this coming Sunday.

Wolves test

Turning attentions towards the other protagonist in the Premier League’s title race, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will welcome Wolverhampton Wanderer to Anfield this weekend, primed to take advantage of any potential slip-up on Man City’s part.

The Reds, amid an ongoing pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple, currently sit just a point adrift of the table-topping Sky Blues.

This comes after Klopp and co, despite a whole raft of changes, emerged from a meeting with Southampton with a hard-fought 2-1 win on Tuesday night.

 

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Robert Lewandowski’s agent drops major hint over Barcelona switch

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Robert Lewandowski’s agent drops major hint over Barcelona switch

 

Word stemming from the Spanish media over the course of the last 24 hours points towards Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski inching ever closer to a move to Barcelona.

Speculation surrounding the future of Polish international Lewandowski has of course been rampant in the media for some time now.

This comes with the 33-year-old, fresh off another scintillating campaign in front of goal, eyeing a move away from Bavaria ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Speaking ahead of the club’s final Bundesliga outing of the season last weekend, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed as much, albeit whilst adding that Lewandowski is expected to see out the remaining year on his current contract:

To this point, the outfit most frequently tipped as a summer landing spot for Bayern’s star man have of course been Barcelona.

This comes with Xavi and co. understood to be highly appreciative of Lewandowski’s goalscoring talents, and evidently of the opinion that heading into the new season with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the club’s first-choice centre-forward is out of the question.

And, as alluded to above, if the latest rumours emanating from Spain are anything to go by, then the Blaugrana appear primed to imminently land their man.

As per transfer journalist Gerard Romero, Pini Zahavi, Lewandowski’s representative, was in Barcelona on Wednesday.

Not only that, but, during his trip, the super agent paid a visit to the club’s official store, to allegedly purchase no fewer than ten Barca jerseys, all with Lewandowski’s name emblazoned across the back.

Blues keen

Interestingly, word of Barcelona’s swoop for ‘Lewa’ inching ever closer comes fresh on the back of the 33-year-old being linked with a move to another of European football’s heavyweights just days ago.

The outfit in question? Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.

 

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Jordan Ayew escapes punishment in reckless challenge against Everton

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Why Jordan Ayew was not sent off for ‘reckless’ challenge vs Everton

Iconic Premier League club Everton are in a fight for their lives in the top flight of English football coming into the final weekend of action in the 2021-22 season, and at the time of writing are hosting Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace at Goodison Park with anything less than a win set to subject the Toffees to a final day of action on Sunday that could consign them to relegation.

But Everton fans will undoubtedly feel aggrieved after Eagles forward Jordan Ayew escaped serious punishment after a reckless challenge on academy graduate Anthony Gordon right next to both dugouts during the first half of play.

Ayew was seen to hack down Gordon with a scissor motion while contesting possession and made no attempt to win the ball, with players on both sides losing their cool in the resulting scrum.

It could not have come at a worse time for Everton given the gravity of the evening, and though the Toffees have fought back to lead 3-2 at the time of writing after Jean-Philippe Mateta and the aforementioned Ayew gave the Eagles a two-goal lead ahead of Michael Keane, Richarlison, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin bringing matters into Everton’s hands, the fact that the Premier League came out in response to state that the tackle was “reckless” but not worthy of a red card once against calls into question the FA and the inconsistent refereeing standards in the league.

If Ayew was correctly sent off given the video and picture evidence on hand, matters could well be different regardless of the fact that Everton have done incredibly well to fight back when it has mattered most.

With both teams now in stoppage time, it’s clear that the Toffees found fuel through injustice with their Premier League lives at stake.


This article was edited by
Conor Laird.

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