Best Sports is bringing this news in big chunks…Manchester City’s injury situation is easing.
Treble-chasing Manchester City could be close to full strength as they take on arch-rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
The champions have had fitness concerns in the build-up to the Wembley showpiece.
Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias and Manuel Akanji all missed last weekend’s final Premier League game of the season at Brentford for a variety of reasons.
Training for the quartet was also curtailed as City opted not to take risks ahead of what is a momentous period in the club’s history with the Champions League final to follow next week.
Manager Pep Guardiola says the whole squad is now looking fit and healthy.
He said: “They’ve trained well in the last two training sessions. They are all of them, more or less, fine.”
One member of City’s first-choice XI who will not start, however, is goalkeeper Ederson.
Back-up Stefan Ortega has featured in all domestic cup fixtures this season and, after also playing in two of the last three Premier League games, will be given the nod at Wembley.
“Stefan is going to play,” he said, who has not conceded a goal win in the FA Cup this term. I have always been like that in the FA Cup. The keeper who has played in the FA Cup is going to play in the FA Cup final.”
Guardiola is also preparing for a tough contest against a United side that will not be short of incentives at Wembley.
As well as the usual cup final and derby motivations, United are also bidding to prevent City from emulating their so far unique achievement of winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season.
City thrashed United 6-3 early in their manager Erik ten Hag’s reign back in October but Guardiola feels they are a considerably better side now.
He said: “For final, it is special for itself but what the United have been doing in the last four, five, six months, they are a completely different team from the beginning of the season when we’ve faced them here. I have the feeling that the team has improved from the beginning of the season – the patterns are more clear and the quality they have.”
Guardiola insisted that he is taking the fixture in isolation and not yet thinking about it in the context of a potentially glorious treble.
In his statement, he said: “We have to analyse the strength of our opponent and see the weaknesses they have. The focus is, it’s a football game, that’s the most important thing, it would be good for us if we think about what we need need to do to win just one game. What’s said outside is normal, we cannot control it, but in the last two games of the season we have to do what we have to do on the pitch to win the game.”
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