Manchester City will have to go into the derby without one of their best defenders with John Stones not ready to return.

John Stones has been ruled out of the Manchester derby after failing to recover from injury in time to face Manchester United.

Stones has been one of the standout defenders for the last few years under Pep Guardiola and has started the last seven Premier League games, cementing his position in the pecking order. The City boss can call upon five top centre-backs but all have had their injury problems and Stones did not feature for the midweek cup defeat to Southampton after suffering a problem before the game.

Despite the injury not being seen as major, it has been enough to keep him out of the Old Trafford trip with a short turnaround for the Saturday game to leave City facing another defensive reshuffle.

Guardiola also has a decision to make on the rest of his defence. Experienced full-backs Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo have been out of favour in recent weeks with teenager Rico Lewis impressing in every match he has played, yet it would be a huge decision to pick the 18-year-old ahead of his more senior colleagues.

Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte and Manu Akanji are all vying for the two centre-back positions and all three could feature in the XI with Guardiola having used both Ake and Laporte at left-back before. Sergio Gomez starred in the 6-3 win over United back in October but suffered a shocker against Southampton and was taken off at half-time.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments