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Manchester City star to be assessed ahead of Real Madrid Champions League second-leg clash



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Pep Guardiola has revealed that Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker will be assessed ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Real Madrid in the last-eight of the UEFA Champions League.

The 33-year-old has been absent for Manchester City since the March international break, when the full-back suffered a hamstring injury during England’s 0-1 loss to Brazil in a friendly at Wembley Stadium.

Walker, who has missed matches against Arsenal, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Luton Town and last week’s first-leg meeting with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu, was named on the bench at the weekend at the Etihad Stadium.

The Englishman was an unused substitute during Saturday’s 5-1 thrashing of Luton Town, as Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League table and established a two-point lead over Arsenal and Liverpool.

Walker has been training with the first-team ahead of Wednesday’s defining clash, with Pep Guardiola’s side looking to reach the last-four of the Champions League for a fourth successive season, and knockout Real Madrid for the second consecutive year.

The defender has made five previous appearances against the La Liga side, and was key in last season’s emphatic 4-0 second-leg semi-final win at the Etihad over Real Madrid, as Manchester City reached a second Champions League Final.

Walker’s availability could be crucial for the Blues’ treble hopes, with the Sky Blues having conceded three goals during the first-leg in Spain last Tuesday, during an enthralling 3-3 draw.

Guardiola was unable to confirm whether Walker would start Wednesday’s quarter-final second-leg, revealing that the 33-year-old would be assessed at the City Football Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

“(Walker) trains good, feels something, but feels good in his face and mood. I don’t know from the beginning or bench but I think he’ll be with us,” said Guardiola.

Manchester City could also have centre-back Nathan Ake available on Wednesday, with the Dutchman having also returned to the matchday squad at the weekend, following recent injury struggles.

The Sky Blues’ treble defence is facing serious scrutiny over the next two fixtures, with an FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea on Saturday evening, following the Champions League quarter-final.