Manchester City handed boost in pursuit of the Premier League title as John Stones and Kyle Walker train ahead of Aston Villa clash on final day
- City have faced a defensive crisis in recent weeks with injuries to key players
- Pep Guardiola has been without several of his first-choice defenders in run-in
- News of a possible return for Stones and Walker boosts their Premier League hopes
The defensive duo had been expected to miss the remainder of the season after suffering injuries in recent weeks but were both pictured at a training session on Thursday.
The news is a boost for City and manager Pep Guardiola as they look to close out their fourth league crown in five seasons.
John Stones was spotted training with Manchester City on Thursday as the Villa game nears
Kyle Walker, who had also been expected to miss the rest of the season, trained on Thursday
City head into the Villa clash at the Etihad Stadium leading Liverpool by one point. Victory will guarantee the title regardless of the result in Liverpool’s home game against Wolves.
City have been badly hit by defensive injuries in the run-in with centre-back Ruben Dias currently out with a thigh injury and Nathan Ake playing lately in spite of an ankle problem.
Dias has not featured since coming off at half-time in City’s 5-0 win over Newcastle on May 8 and was not pictured at the training session.
The news will come as a huge relief to City manager Pep Guardiola as they aim for the title
Aymeric Laporte and midfielder Fernandinho, who has been pressed into emergency action in the back four, were also doubts prior to last week’s game at West Ham after picking up knocks in the win over Wolves but did eventually play.
Stones has not played since hobbling out of the first leg of City’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on April 26 with a thigh injury. Walker has missed eight of the last nine games with an ankle problem.
A decision on whether they will be able to play on Sunday is not likely to be made until the day of the game.
City have been pushed all the way by Liverpool, who will snatch the crown if they beat Wolves and Guardiola’s side fail to take maximum at home to Villa.