The Lowdown: European absence
The Sky Blues secured a 3-1 victory over Sevilla in the Champions League midweek and they should be brimming with confidence heading into this weekend’s clash at the Etihad Stadium.
Last weekend, the Swiss centre-back was forced off the pitch against Leicester after sustaining a knock and therefore missed the European clash, although it sounds like a swift return to action is now on the cards.
The Latest: Akanji fitness update
Speaking during his pre-match press conference on Friday, Guardiola revealed that Akanji is now back under consideration to be selected, whilst also providing an update on Kalvin Phillips and Kyle Walker.
Quoted by the club’s official website, the City manager said: “Manu’s okay. Kalvin and Kyle are still not fit.”
Asked for an update on Erling Haaland, Guardiola responded: “He’s much better. We will decide today (if he can play against Fulham). It’s a good step, he starts to train, and we have training this afternoon and we will see.”
The Verdict: Boost for Guardiola
City only signed Akanji from Borussia Dortmund over the summer, and despite making just six league starts so far, the 27-year-old has been a rock at the heart of the backline.
Hailed as a ‘top-class’ defender by Sky Sports pundit Paul Robinson, the Switzerland international currently averages two clearances per league game, also recording an outstanding pass success rate of 94.3%, the second-best of anyone at the Etihad Stadium (WhoScored).
Will Man City beat Fulham?
Taking all three points against the Cottagers would send City back to the top of the table overnight before Arsenal play Chelsea on Sunday, and the imminent return of Akanji should only increase the chances of that happening.
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