Pep Guardiola has said Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte will be given until Sunday to prove their fitness for the Premier League title crunch at West Ham on Sunday.
The champions could take a huge step towards claiming a fourth league title in five years when they travel to the capital on Sunday.
But City head there with real issues at the back and may only have three fit defenders for the game, with Laporte and Fernandinho – who played at centre-back in mid-week – major doubts for the game.
The pair picked up injuries in Wednesday’s 5-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Laporte involved in a nasty collision with Raul Jimenez, while Fernandinho was replaced in the latter stages with a knock.
With Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker already ruled out for the rest of the season, it leaves the manager with a problem. Asked about the pair, Guardiola said: “They are in treatment, two days.
“We will see tomorrow, which players can play on Sunday. Until the day of the game we will not be able to decide.”
Ake, along with Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko, are Guardiola’s only fit, senior defenders for Sunday’s game, although youth-team players CJ Egan-Riley and Luke Mbete are also options.
Asked about playing Rodri at centre-back, Guardiola said he has full faith in the midfielder’s ability to perform in an unorthodox position.
“For one or two games the players will do their best if they play in other positions. As we saw against Wolves, they can do it.”
These Guardiola’s comments were shared on Twitter by City Xtra and it attracted plenty of attention from the club’s supporters.
“Not fully fit 🙄 Who gonna play.”
“Who’s gonna play CB 😭😭.”
“We are finished, risk everyone. We win and the league is wrapped up”
“Laporte’s looked like a season ender so i’m surprised the assessment is this late on, gives me hope”
“So Laporte not as bad as it was then basically.”
“No fit CBs we’re f**ked”
“Please make one person available at least.”
“Risk one with Ake.
3 points may secure this title.”
“Don’t play them if they ain’t ready, Sunday is massive but we’ve already rushed Ruben & Walker back over the past few weeks & now they’re on the treatment table again for god knows how long.”