How will City cover the hole left by Rodri’s absence against Arsenal?

How will City cover the hole left by Rodri’s absence against Arsenal? That is the question that lingers into Sunday’s massive clash with Arsenal. Manchester City have lost two of the three games the midfielder has been suspended for. Rodri missed the defeats to Newcastle and Wolves before he returned for the Champions League win over RB Leipzig.

Heading into the game, City’s record without Rodri has been a cause for concern for Pep Guardiola. Since his debut season with City, the champions have played 15 games without Rodri. They have won 9, lost 5 and drawn 1 without their midfield general. With Rodri starting City has only lost 19 out of 144 games. They have won 107 of those games and have drawn the remaining 18. Rodri’s influence is profound for the treble winners.

Against Wolves Manchester City lined up with Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes in midfield. The pair hadn’t played together and at times it showed. While they weren’t necessarily terrible, City did miss Rodri in the middle of the park. Wolves continuously hit the champions on the counter during the first half. Nunes was withdrawn at halftime as City chased an equaliser. Whether or not Pep decides to start Nunes and Kovacic remains to be seen.

One option that wasn’t available against Wolves due to injury is Bernardo Silva. He returned midweek in City’s 3-1 win over RB Leipzig. The Portuguese midfielder is always willing to do whatever is required by his manager. A role in midfield to cover Rodri’s loss may be in the cards for Bernardo.

Another option is Rico Lewis. The City starlet put in a man-of-the-match performance against RB Leipzig. Lewis has shown on more than one occasion no task is beyond the 18-year-old.

The midfield battle will be key against Mikel Artera’s side. How City lineup without Rodri may help shape the game. There are options available to Pep Guardiola, which ones he decides to use will be something to watch for as the starting lineups are announced.

Tags Arsenal Bernardo Silva English Premier League Manchester City Mateo Kovacic Matheus Nunes Mikel Arteta Newcastle United Pep Guardiola Rico Lewis Rodri Wolves