EPL

Rodri misses Manchester derby as Guardiola leaves Dias on bench

By Sports Desk October 02, 2022

Pep Guardiola left Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte on the bench for Manchester City's clash with Manchester United, while Rodri missed out altogether for the Premier League champions with injury.

City manager Guardiola made three changes for the first Manchester derby of the season, with Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake operating at centre-back.

John Stones was another absentee due to a hamstring injury sustained on international duty, while Guardiola decided to name Dias among the substitutes as Kyle Walker came in at right-back.

Fitness issues for Rodri ruled the Spain international out of the clash at Etihad Stadium, with Ilkay Gundogan starting in midfield behind Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and the in-form Erling Haaland up top.

"It is an injury. Yesterday in the training session he felt something. It was a little more than a niggle in his leg so we did not want to take the risk," Guardiola told Sky Sports of Rodri's injury.

"It is an important role but a strength the biggest clubs have is that excuses don't exist. Nobody is second in the locker room."

Erik ten Hag made just one alteration to his side that defeated Sheriff last time out in the Europa League as Diogo Dalot replaced Cristiano Ronaldo, who dropped to the bench.

Casemiro was again forced to settle for a place among the substitutes, with United head coach Ten Hag opting for Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen in midfield.

Marcus Rashford kept his place in the starting XI despite injury concerns over the international break, while Antony Martial was deemed fit enough to make the bench.

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