Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Pep Guardiola confirmed that, after being withdrawn in the first half of City’s 4-3 Champions League semi-final first leg victory in midweek, John Stones has now been ruled out of today’s clash at Elland Road.
In response to a question asking for an update on the condition of the centre-back, Guardiola said: “For [Saturday] he’s out.”
Considering how impressive Stones has been in the heart of the City defence this season, the news that the 27-year-old will not be available for selection this evening is sure to have left Jesse Marsch buzzing.
Indeed, over his 13 Premier League appearances this term, the £25.2m-rated centre-back has helped his side to keep eight clean sheets and scored one goal, along with averaging 0.8 interceptions, 0.4 tackles and 1.6 clearances and winning 4.8 duels (at a success rate of 83%) per game.
These returns have seen the £200k-per-week England international average a remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.19, ranking him as Guardiola’s second-best defender and 10th-best player overall in the league.
As such, it is clear to see that the absence of the defender will provide Leeds’ chances of securing a result against City with a huge boost this evening. Considering the Whites’ rather precarious position just five points above the relegation zone prior to the 3pm kick-offs, this is undoubtedly welcome news for everyone involved with the Yorkshire club.