Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team will be without one of their key players for the League Cup final against Spurs after John Stones saw red on Wednesday evening at Villa Park.
The City centre-back was sent off following referee Peter Banks reviewing an incident on the advice of the VAR in the 44th minute.
Stones was high and late as he scythed down Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey near the halfway line. The England international caught Ramsey around the knee and was rightly shown red for the shocking tackle.
The Villa man was lucky to not be seriously injured and was able to return the to pitch shortly after, not something that can be said for Stones.
A red card for a dangerous tackle comes with a three-match suspension meaning Stones will miss the League Cup final against Tottenham on Sunday followed by Manchester City’s Premier League games against Crystal Palace and Chelsea.
Stones has been in fine form this season and has forced his way back into Gareth Southgate’s England squad but the Three Lions man was having a tough time at Villa Park.
With just 20 seconds on the clock Stones’ error had led to Villa taking an early lead. The defender’s attempt to intercept a long pass led to Olly Watkins receiving the ball after Stones misjudged his lunge.
Such is the depth in Manchester City’s squad the suspension to Stones is likely to only be a minor blip for the champions-elect with Guardiola able to call upon a host of international players as deputies.
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Aymeric Laporte is the most likely replacement for Stones on Sunday with the Frenchman a regular in the cup competitions for Guardiola’s team this season.
Laporte’s most recent outing in a City shirt came in the FA Cup semi-final 1-0 defeat to Chelsea and Spurs will be hoping to pray on his rustiness following a spell on the sidelines.
Perhaps a sign of Guardiola’s apprehension of doing without Stones was seen with the way the City manager was furiously arguing a clear sending off on the sidelines to the fourth official.