Three Man City stars will miss Southampton game
Manchester City will host Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but they will be missing three England players.
City have had a number of injury problems this season, with players such as Jack Grealish, Rodri, Aymeric Laporte, and Nathan Ake all missing time. Kyle Walker, John Stones, and Kalvin Phillips are also on the list, and all three will miss Saturday’s Premier League match against Southampton.
Walker and City issued official statements on Thursday confirming that the defender had undergone successful surgery after suffering a groin injury in the Manchester derby last weekend.
Walker was forced off late in the first half with City leading 3-0, and Guardiola said after the game that the defender would be out for at least a few weeks. Now, the England right-back is racing against time to be fit for the World Cup, which begins in just six and a half weeks against Iran.
Phillips is also up against the clock, as the midfielder is unlikely to be available for selection by Gareth Southgate as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Stones is the third player Guardiola will be unable to call upon this weekend after suffering a hamstring injury in England’s recent Nations League match against Germany. However, the 28-year-old could be back in training in a week or so and could be available for City’s trip to Anfield to face Liverpool next weekend.
Rodri is back in the lineup after missing the 6-3 loss to Manchester United due to a calf injury. The Spaniard was on the bench for City’s midweek loss to FC Copenhagen, but Guardiola started Ilkay Gundogan in holding midfield.
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Laporte made his first City start in four and a half months on Wednesday, after returning from a knee injury with a substitute appearance against United.
Erling Haaland looks set to keep his starting spot up front. Guardiola allayed fears that the striker had suffered an injury on Wednesday, explaining that the 22-year-half-time old’s withdrawal was to allow him to rest and give others a chance to play.