Man City boss Guardiola provides injury update on Stones and analyses Haaland-Martinez duel

Date published: Friday 30th September 2022 3:18 - Joe Williams

Pep Guardiola puts his finger to his ear

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Manchester City defender John Stones will miss this weekend’s derby against Manchester United.

Stones suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty with England, coming off early on in their 3-3 draw against Germany earlier this week.

Guardiola said: “He is injured. He will be back when he is ready.”

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Guardiola is hopeful Stones’ lay-off will not be a lengthy one. He added: “I don’t know when he will come back but I think maybe 10 days, two weeks.”

Summer signing Kalvin Phillips is sidelined after undergoing shoulder surgery during the recent international break.

Guardiola says the operation went well and believes the midfielder can still claim a place in England’s World Cup squad.

The City boss said: “He feels good. He is getting better. He took the right decision.

“Hopefully he can be back in time to go to the World Cup.”

Erling Haaland, who has scored 11 goals in seven Premier League matches this season, will come up against Man Utd defender Lisandro Martinez in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

Martinez kept Haaland at bay last season in the Champions League when Ajax hosted Borussia Dortmund and Guardiola doesn’t think the size difference will have much impact on their duel.

Guardiola continued: “Erling is taller. But I like when people underestimate players for their size. Knowing from my experience there is no doubt [about Martinez]. It’s not the first time that he’ll play against strikers taller than him. In the box, in those positions, Erling is taller.”

On whether it’s important to have a big rival like Man Utd, Guardiola added: When you are on top you have more rivals. In the middle you have less rivals. Big rivals make you better. We have to play a perfect game.

“They have the qualities upfront, physicality and quality in the middle with Eriksen, Fernandes, physicality with Casemiro and McTominay. United always like that, Old Trafford we’ve been better than Etihad but it’s our stadium, looking forward, we’re prepared to face them.”

On their matches before the World Cup, Guardiola said: “In six weeks we have the World Cup and injuries would be difficult, we have to be focussed, We don’t plan anything dfferently.

“Everyone knows about the World Cup, we talk about days off, when we come back, the training. After depends on group stage, quarter finals, when players come back. How they feel. First game we play, we are going to see the selection. I don’t think anybody knows what will happen.”


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