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Why Manuel Akanji was dropped last minute from Manchester City’s starting line-up against BSC Young Boys



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Manchester City dropped Manuel Akanji from their initial starting line-up against BSC Young Boys on Tuesday night in a last minute alteration.

The Swiss international central defender was originally named in Pep Guardiola’s starting selection for the visit of the Bern-based club at the Etihad Stadium, but did not appear with the rest of the squad ahead of kick-off.

Ruben Dias was originally named as Manchester City’s captain for the Champions League contest, but following the inclusion of Kyle Walker into the team, the Portuguese central defender relinquished his armband responsibilities.

Ahead of kick-off at the Etihad Stadium, the official word being briefed was that Manuel Akanji had withdrawn from the contest through “illness”, however comments from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola provide other details.

Speaking after the 3-0 win over BSC Young Boys, Pep Guardiola said, “Well, Manu (Akanji) had a problem in his back.”

Manchester City will be hoping that the problem surrounding the Swiss-born defender is not too serious, with injuries starting to hamper their defensive set-up following John Stones’ problem sustained against Young Boys on Tuesday night.

The Premier League champions travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, taking on Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea in the capital fresh off the back of the London side’s 1-4 win against Tottenham on Monday night.

The visit to Chelsea will be Manchester City’s final game before the November international break, before Pep Guardiola’s side then return to action with a home tie in the Premier League against rivals Liverpool.