Look away Pep Guardiola – Man City suffer injury scare as Nathan Ake hobbles off during Netherlands friendly

Liverpool have an injury crisis but Manchester City have problems in defence of their own with Nathan Ake limping off during the opening stages of the Netherlands’ friendly with Spain on Wednesday night. The versatile defender started at centre-back for the hosts, but was withdrawn after just six minutes of the contest. Ake was pictured […]

Look away Pep Guardiola – Man City suffer injury scare as Nathan Ake hobbles off during Netherlands friendly

Liverpool have an injury crisis but Manchester City have problems in defence of their own with Nathan Ake limping off during the opening stages of the Netherlands’ friendly with Spain on Wednesday night.

The versatile defender started at centre-back for the hosts, but was withdrawn after just six minutes of the contest.

Ake appeared to be in some discomfort after suffering the injury
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Ake was pictured clutching his right hamstring upon leaving the pitch, with former Manchester United man Daley Blind coming on as his replacement.

City now face an anxious wait to see if the former Chelsea youngster has sustained a significant injury.

Ake, 25, joined City from relegated Bournemouth in August after his £40million release clause was met.

The news comes after Liverpool’s Joe Gomez was forced to withdraw from international duty after suffering a potentially serious knee injury during England training.

Club team mate Trent Alexander-Arnold also recently suffered a calf injury in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with City, while Virgil van Dijk is a long-term absentee.

Following football’s restart in June from its coronavirus suspension, the 20 top-flight clubs were allowed to use five substitutes per game due to the extra physical demands put on the players.

Man City will be sweating on the fitness of their £40m defender
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But that rule was scrapped following a vote from Premier League clubs ahead of the 2020/21 season, with three substitutes per game returning.

However, Europe’s other top leagues continue to utilise the five subs rule, as do UEFA continental competitions the Champions League and Europa League.

Due to a congested schedule, brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, matches have been coming thick and fast and more injuries have been recorded this season than usual.

City boss Pep Guardiola, along with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, have both led calls for the five-sub rule to be reinstated.

“Today the right-back [Trent Alexander Arnold] for the national team for England is injured, and other players,” Guardiola said.

“It’s so demanding for the players, the same argument all the time.

“I don’t understand, I don’t know who is in charge to decide these things but I don’t know how they don’t understand when all the leagues around the world except this league have five substitutions, to protect the players, to protect the footballers, to protect the physicality of playing every three days.”