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Kyle Walker has been left out of the Manchester City team for the Champions League final on Saturday night.

Premier League and FA Cup winners City take on Inter Milan in Istanbul aiming to win a first European Cup in their history and complete the treble.

England international Walker started both legs of the semi-final win over Real Madrid as well as last weekend’s FA Cup final victory over Manchester United.

However, Pep Guardiola has instead opted for Nathan Ake in his place. Speaking before the final about whether Walker was left out due to injury, Guardiola said: “No, no, no, no. It was really tough because Kyle is so important for us but for the way we want to defend, the way we want to attack, we need another type of player. That is the only reason why.”

Walker missed training earlier in the week but he played down any talk of an injury.

“I’m fine, I’m just getting old!” he said, speaking to Sky Sports News. “I’m completely fine, it’s just an extra day of recovery.

“I played a lot of minutes over the last number of weeks so the manager said just stay inside and come Saturday you will be raring to go.

“I’m fine, the minutes that I’ve played when everyone else was injured, I was there digging my heels in and getting through it. I won’t be missing the Champions League final for anything.”

Should City win the final they will emulate rivals Manchester United as the only English side to ever win the league, cup and European Cup in the same season.

‘A surprise’

Analysis from Manchester City correspondent Sam Lee

Kyle Walker’s omission is a surprise given how well he has returned to the team over the past month, but the alternative is certainly not bad.

Walker did indeed ‘return’ to the team because he had lost out to the back four that starts tonight, and was only broken up by Nathan Ake’s injury a month ago. He is fit and back in on the left, and that helps us get into some specifics: Ake on the left, being a left footer, might make City’s build-up a bit slicker tonight, Manuel Akanji could occupy that right-sided role, probably making up a back three and that should help combat Inter’s front two. So a couple of tweaks but I don’t think we’re in the so-called overthinking territory.

Manchester City vs Inter Milan team news

Man City: Ederson, Akanji, Stones, Dias, Ake, Rodri, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva, Grealish, Haaland

Subs: Walker, Phillips, Laporte, Ortega, Alvarez, Gomez, Mahrez, Perrone, Carson, Foden, Palmer, Lewis

Inter: Onana, Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni, Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco, Martinez, Dzeko

Subs: Gagliardini, de Vrij, Gosens, Correa, Bellanova, Asllani, Cordaz, Mkhitaryan, D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Lukaku, Handanovic

(Photo: Brendan Moran – Sportsfile/UEFA via Getty Images)



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