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Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji have tightened up Manchester City’s defence

Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji have tightened up Manchester City’s defence

The combination in the centre of Manchester City’s defence of Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji has helped tighten up the champions’ defence of late. With the underrated duo playing at the heart of City’s defence, the champions have kept back to back clean sheets during their past two wins over Brighton and Nottingham Forest. In the process, the duo may have become City’s go-to pairing at the back for the remainder of this season.

There can be no value put on the contributions of Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji to the world champions. Whatever role the pair are asked to play, they set about it with minimal fuss. Their versatility is an underappreciated weapon in Pep Guardiola’s arsenal. The pair can play at full-back or centre back, meaning they hold immense value to Manchester City. Whenever they are called upon by their manager, they rarely let the champions down.

READ MORE: A fit and firing City star helped seal a crucial victory for the champions on Sunday.

During Manchester City’s past two games, the pair have lined up at the heart of City’s defence. With two of their most dependable players playing at the back, the champions have kept back to back clean sheets. At a time of the season where results are at a premium, the ability to keep a clean sheet goes a long way in helping maintain City’s title charge. With Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji in defence, the champions know they have two reliable players at the heart of their defence.

Manchester City did ride their luck against Nottingham Forest on Sunday. On another day, Chris Wood may have put away the gilt-edged chances he squandered. But on other occasions, it was either Nathan Ake or Manuel Akanji who saved the day for Manchester City. Nathan Ake especially made several crucial interceptions to help the champions leave the City Ground with a precious 2-nil win.

Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji may be the ideal centre-back pairing to help City chase the double this season. With their consistency and ability to do a job, they could become Pep Guardiola’s preferred defensive pairing over the final 5 games of City’s season.