Pep Guardiola will likely be sweating over Ilkay Gundogan’s fitness after the midfielder appeared to be nursing a thigh issue and walked out of training on the eve of Manchester City’s Champions League final clash with Chelsea.
Gundogan has established himself as a key player in a more advanced role under Guardiola this season and has notched up three goals and one assist en route to Saturday’s all-English affair in Porto.
The 30-year-old completed every minute of City’s two-legged semi-final victory over Paris Saint-Germain and looks a shoo-in to start tomorrow night if fully fit, especially as he’s their only player with any experience of playing in a Champions League final.
And while Gundogan should have been feeling fresh after being rested for the side’s recent 5-0 win over Everton, there were worrying scenes this evening as the Germany international left training early.
This was before he went off the pitch. pic.twitter.com/JKsC1Yq4lm
The former Borussia Dortmund star seemed to be struggling with a thigh problem and looked in some discomfort as City’s squad were put through their paces during the hour-long session at the Estadio do Dragao.
It came after Gundogan collided with club captain Fernandinho while attempting a diving header.
Fernandinho was later pictured putting his arm around Gundogan and the latter briefly spoke with a member of City’s coaching staff before gingerly making his way down the tunnel.
Seems alright walking pic.twitter.com/2bxHmCyIa2
Though Gundogan walked without assistance and seemingly without serious pain, the sight of such an important player failing to complete the session will be a slight concern for Guardiola with just over 24 hours to go until kick-off.
Earlier this month, Gundogan was taken off after scoring the opener in City’s 3-2 defeat away to Brighton but Guardiola insisted the German was replaced as a precaution.
Gundogan has enjoyed comfortably his best season yet in front of goal with the newly-crowned English champions, netting 17 times in all competitions.
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