Pep Guardiola explains Rodri’s absence from the Manchester derby | Football

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Rodri misses out on the Manchester derby this weekend (Picture: Getty Images)

Rodri sustained an injury in a training session on Saturday which has kept him out of Sunday’s Manchester derby, confirmed Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

The midfielder is a key part of the City midfield, but Guardiola will have to do without him at the Etihad, fielding a three of Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in his absence.

John Stones also misses out through a hamstring injury, with an unusual centre-back partnership of Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji taking on the Red Devils.

Explaining his team selection and Rodri and Stones’ absences, Guardiola told Sky Sports: ‘Both are injured.

‘Yesterday Rodri in the training session, the last one, he felt something. A little bit more than a niggle in his leg and we couldn’t take a risk with this tough, tough schedule.

‘Kalvin [Phillips] is injured as well, but one of the successes I think the biggest clubs have is the fact that excuses don’t exist, no one is second in the locker room.’

United manager Erik ten Hag was happy to admit that he is pleased to see no Rodri in the opposition line-up, although clearly City’s side is still an extremely good one.

‘A huge impact on their game, in many aspects,’ Ten Hag said of Rodri’s absence. ‘So they will miss him but still an XI that has really good players on the pitch. Every top team has to deal with it, as we do.’

Ten Hag has stuck with the players that have been impressing for him recently, with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen in midfield behind a front four of Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.


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