Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji could potentially miss out on Manchester City’s semi-final first leg if they overcome Bayern Munich later this evening.
City head into the game with a comfortable advantage from the first leg, having won 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
Akanji has already picked up two yellow cards in the competition, meaning that one more booking would lead to a one-match ban. This could prove costly for City’s hopes of lifting the trophy for the first time in their history.
Akanji played a key role in that victory, helping to keep Bayern’s attacking players at bay for long periods. However, he will need to be on his best behaviour in the return leg, as any yellow card could result in him missing the first leg of the semi-finals.
The Champions League rules regarding bans are quite straightforward. Players who receive three yellow cards in the competition are automatically suspended for one match.
This applies up to and including the quarter-finals. However, if a player is booked in both legs of a quarter-final tie, they will be suspended for the next match.
If Akanji is booked in the second leg against Bayern and City progress to the semi-finals, he will be suspended for the first leg of that tie.
However, if City are knocked out by Bayern, Akanji will not be suspended for the first game of next season’s Champions League, as all cautions and pending yellow card suspensions are reset at the end of the campaign.
Akanji’s potential suspension will be a concern for Pep Guardiola, as the Swiss defender has been a key player for City this season. He has formed a solid partnership with Ruben Dias at the heart of the defence, and his absence could be felt if City progress to the semi-finals.