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Manchester City holding out hope on fitness of key player for Real Madrid clash

Manchester City thumped Real Madrid at the Etihad last season, and a large part of the reason for that was the excellent game that Kyle Walker had against the Brazilian. However Pep Guardiola may be without the player dubbed the ‘anti-Vinicius’ or the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶

Walker, 33, has been battling a hamstring problem he suffered with England in March, and has missed their last two matches against Arsenal and Aston Villa. ESPN say he will also miss their match this weekend against Crystal Palace, but has not yet been ruled out for the Real Madrid clash, even if it is an uphill battle.

Guardiola believes Walker is key to stopping the Brazilian, and will give him as much time as he needs to recover before taking a decision if he can be fit in time. If the veteran defender does not get back in time, 19-year-old Rico Lewis will play instead. He has been impressive but provides an entirely different skillset to Walker.

Real Madrid will no doubt try to hit City on the counter where possible, and with Walker on top of Vinicius, that became difficult last season. Lewis could perhaps give Los Blancos more to think about going the other way, but is unlikely to be left one-on-one with Vinicius, meaning the reigning champions will be forced to alter their plan.

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Tiara Clephin

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