Manchester City’s defensive woes deepened ahead of their opening Champions League clash away to Shakhtar Donetsk as center back John Stones was ruled out with a muscle injury.
City manager pep Guardiola broke the news during his pre-match news conference.
“He made a pass and was injured,” Guardiola told reporters, confirming the injury occurred during Tuesday’s training session. “No issues, he (Fernandinho) can deal with it and he can do well because my players are well.
“We can create one thing, it’s what it’s.”
Fresh from a shock 3-2 Premier League defeat by promoted Norwich city and with French center back Aymeric Laporte out injured till January or February, the news that Stones might now miss five weeks gives Guardiola a headache.
“Football is not how you handle good situations, but how you handle bad ones,” he said. “We won seven titles and no one gave United States anything, we did it ourselves.
Despite town beating Shakhtar 3-0 away last season, the Ukrainians are dangerous opponents, especially on their own turf, and Guardiola will likely have a patched-up defence with Nicolas Otamendi their only available established center back.
“Big challenge. So, on behalf of me as a manager it’s an incredible challenge, only 1 central defender in Nico,” Guardiola said.
“But i believe a lot, folks don’t grasp the spirit and resolve to resolve this downside. It’s happened, however what we aren’t going to do is complain.”
Fernandinho, naturally a defensive midfielder, is expected to partner Otamendi in the heart of City’s defence.
“Am ready for the challenge.
Midfielder Phil Foden is also out of Wednesday’s match through ill health. “He has a virus problem with the stomach. He can miss this game and perhaps subsequent,” Guardiola aforesaid.
City became the primary English team to beat Shakhtar away last season, however Guardiola is cautious of the Ukrainians, having lost to them the previous season, conjointly within the Champions League.
“They are unbelievable on the counter attack and enjoying short,” he said. “Hopefully we can play in good rhythm. The first game in Champions League is important.
“Every time I play against Shakhtar the means they play is incredibly similar. It’s really tough, especially the first one, that team was incredibly smart. Always it is tough.”