No Rodri for City’s trip to Villa Park will test the treble winners

Earlier this season Manchester City’s midfield general Rodri picked up a three-game suspension. A reckless red card against Nottingham Forest saw him suspended. The champions then proceeded to lose all three games the Spanish international was suspended for. Defeats to Wolves, Newcastle and Arsenal all came without their midfield lynchpin.

Fresh off last night’s 3-all draw with Tottenham the loss of Rodri to a one-game suspension for City’s trip to Villa Park has gone under the radar. Most of the attention post-game has gone onto Simon Hooper’s late decision and the reaction surrounding it. But the treble winners also picked up another key concern. On top of their poor finishing in the first half and concerns at the back, they must now prepare to take on a high-flying Aston Villa with their key man in midfield suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.

Manchester City’s midfield has been down on form of late. Injuries to key players like Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones have cost the treble winners. New signings Mateo Kovacic and Matehus Nunes haven’t yet adjusted to their new surroundings. The pair have also battled injury concerns of late meaning they may not be ready for the game against Aston Villa. It is also unlikely that Kalvin Phillips will start based on how many times he’s featured this season.

All of that doesn’t leave a lot of options for Pep Guardiola. John Stones may return to the starting eleven if he is fit enough to start. Rico Lewis showed against Tottenham he’s ready when called upon. Lewis has already shown that he is capable of playing a role that is well beyond his young age. There are options for Pep Guardiola to fill the void left by Rodri’s suspension.

It was going to be a tough test for Manchester City facing Aston Villa at Villa Park with Rodri available. It will now be a sterner test for the treble winners without their midfield general.

Tags Arsenal Aston Villa Carabao Cup English Premier League John Stones Kalvin Phillips Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City Mateo Kovacic Matheus Nunes Newcastle United Nottingham Forest Pep Guardiola Rico Lewis Rodri Tottenham Hotspur Unai Emery Wolves