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Manchester City defender available for Premier League showdown with Chelsea this weekend



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Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Manuel Akanji will be available for Manchester City’s trip to face Chelsea in the Premier League this weekend.

Manchester City’s versatile central defensive option was a late omission from their Champions League contest in midweek, despite having been named in the original starting line-up to face BSC Young Boys.

Manuel Akanji was replaced by Kyle Walker in the eleven, with the original word being that the Swiss international had pulled out of the contest due to an illness. Later details would revealed a back problem kept him out of the game.

However, the injury problem has proven to only be short-term, with Pep Guardiola delivering a significant development concerning the former Borussia Dortmund man on the eve of their return to Premier League action this weekend.

Speaking ahead of Manchester City’s trip to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, Pep Guardiola was asked to provide an update on the Swiss international central defender and clarify his availability for the weekend’s commmitments.

“Good,” Pep Guardiola began. “(He) Trained today and trained good.”

The 28-year-old’s availability for the game will come as a major boost to the Manchester City manager and his ongoing selection dilemmas at a time when the Catalan coach is having to deal with the fresh injury setback endured by John Stones.

The England international was substituted at half-time of Manchester City’s 3-0 UEFA Champions League group stage victory over BSC Young Boys on Tuesday night with a reoccurrence of a previous problem.

However, Guardiola has indicated that doctors now believe Stones’ injury problem is not as bad as first feared, despite a clear recovery timeframe being kept out of any press conference comments on Friday afternoon.