Gareth Southgate Defends Himself As Seven City Players Could Miss Arsenal Match

Gareth Southgate has justified his decision to play many Manchester City players in the recently concluded international break amid the injury crisis in Pep Guardiola’s squad ahead of the Arsenal match.

Gareth Southgate gives update on Man City players

The reigning Premier League champions lost many important players to injury during the break and two of these players Kyle Walker and John Stones played for Gareth Southgate’s England national team.

Kyle Walker was substituted earlier in the friendly match between England and Brazil. The Manchester City captain suffered what appears to be a hamstring injury and his fitness for the weekend match against the league leader is unlikely.

Similarly, the experienced defender might be missing when Manchester City take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final. Both matches against the Gunners and Real Madrid could decide how successful the Sky Blues will be this campaign.

Unfortunately, while the extent of Kyle Walker was yet to be determined, his national teammate John Stones was subbed off in the same manner during the Three Lions’ friendly match against Belgium.

Elsewhere, Manu Akanji was withdrawn from the Switzerland friendly match over injury concerns and the defender like his teammates may miss the Arsenal match.

In Portugal, Matheus Nunes couldn’t take part in the last international match of his country. The Portuguese was withdrawn from the squad and sent to Manchester City for treatment just like Bernardo Silva and Ruben Dias left Portugal’s training camp earlier than expected.

Gareth Southgate defended his decision to play John Stones, saying other key players for Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal were used in the same way.

“We measure everything,” he said, according to MEN. “We’ve done exactly what Holland did with Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake and what Norway did with Martin Odegaard and Erling Haaland. It only seems to fall on us when there’s a question on that.”

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