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Manchester City defender sustains ‘knock’ and withdraws from international friendly on Tuesday ahead of Arsenal clash



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Pep Guardiola has received another setback in his pursuit of a fully-fit squad for the return of club football following the international break, it has been confirmed.

That concerns the fitness of Manuel Akanji, after the 28-year-old missed Switzerland’s final training session before their upcoming international friendly due to injury, in what will likely come as a matter of concern for those at Manchester City.

The Swiss international and former Borussia Dortmund man has been an integral part of Manchester City’s success since his arrival from Germany during the 2022 summer transfer window, operating in a number of positions for Pep Guardiola in that time.

However, as the Catalan coach and his colleagues will likely be drawing up their plans for the weekend’s contest against Arsenal in the Premier League, such discussions may now be further hampered by a fresh blow to Manuel Akanji.

As confirmed by Switzerland manager Murat Yakin ahead of his side’s international friendly clash against Ireland, Manchester City’s Akanji has picked up a knock and will play no part in his nation’s final clash of the ongoing break.

Manuel Akanji has proven to be as crucial for Switzerland as he has for Manchester City over recent seasons, starting all of his nation’s last 16 international contests across all competitions.

The concern around Manuel Akanji comes just days after Kyle Walker threw his own availability for the meeting with Mikel Arteta’s side into doubt, having withdrawn from England duties with a suspected hamstring issue sustained against Brazil at the weekend.

Manchester City’s meeting with Arsenal marks the start of a crucial period of fixtures for the Premier League champions, as they look to maintain their chase of a back-to-back Treble for as long as possible into the business end of the season.

April brings about an FA Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea at Wembley Stadium, while a double-header European meeting against Real Madrid is also on the horizon in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.