Man City injury blow as Stones, Walker out for Arsenal clash

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been dealt a double injury blow ahead of the crucial Premier League clash with Arsenal after confirming on Friday both John Stones and Kyle Walker will miss out.

Stones and Walker picked up injuries playing for England during the international break and will not be available for Arsenal’s visit to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

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Kevin De Bruyne, Éderson, Jack Grealish and Manuel Akanji are all expected to be fit to face Mikel Arteta’s side, who are top of the table level on points with Liverpool and one point ahead of City.

“Kyle and John are out, it is what it is,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.

“Kevin is such an important player. It has been a tough season for him with injuries, being out for a long time. He trained really well yesterday [on Thursday] so we will see what we’re going to do in the next days.”

Stones has suffered injury problems this season and has been limited to just 22 games in all competitions. He played 90 minutes for England against Brazil last Saturday and was picked to start again against Belgium three days later.

Gareth Southgate has come in for criticism for picking Stones twice in such a short space a time but asked whether he was disappointed, Guardiola refused to get involved in the row. “I don’t have any comments on that,” he said.

On Sunday, Guardiola will come up against Declan Rice, a player he tried to sign in the summer. City lodged a bid for the England midfielder before he swapped West Ham for Arsenal in a club record deal worth £105 million ($132.6m)

“He’s not the first one who we wanted who didn’t join us,” Guardiola said. “Either they don’t want to come or whatever, he took his decision and good luck.

“All the teams in the Premier League would have signed Declan Rice, an international captain and a young player playing a lot of games regularly. That’s why Arsenal pushed.”