Man City’s defensive issues improve as Walker, Stones train

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City’s defensive problems appear to have improved ahead of the final round of the English Premier League on Sunday, when the team requires a victory over Aston Villa to guarantee retaining the title.

Right back Kyle Walker and center back John Stones were in training on Thursday, despite having previously been ruled out for the remainder of the season — along with another defender, Ruben Dias — by City manager Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola might say at his weekly news conference on Friday whether Walker and Stones, who were both hurt against Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals, are available for the game against Villa.

Guardiola had to field a makeshift defense for last weekend’s game at West Ham and City was wide open at the back at times in a 2-2 draw that gave second-placed Liverpool renewed hope of snatching the title.

City will head into Sunday a point clear of Liverpool, which is at home to Wolverhampton in a match being played simultaneously.

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