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Pep Guardiola’s central defensive options reduced for visit of Southampton

PFA Premier League team of the year
(Image credit: Dave Thompson)

Champions Manchester City are again without defenders John Stones and Aymeric Laporte for the visit of Southampton in the Premier League.

The pair are both still troubled by the muscular injuries that kept them out of the midweek Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.

Fellow centre-back Nathan Ake, whose father died during the game on Wednesday, is expected to be available. Second-choice goalkeeper Zack Steffen is still out after testing positive for coronavirus.

Striker Shane Long will be available for Southampton after completing his isolation following a positive Covid-19 test.

Midfielder Will Smallbone is back in full team training after eight months on the sidelines with a serious knee injury but is not expected to be rushed back into match action.

Winger Theo Walcott and midfielder Stuart Armstrong are still sidelined with calf muscle issues.

Man City provisional squad: Ederson, Carson, Slicker, Walker, Cancelo, Zinchenko, Dias, Ake, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling, Foden, Mahrez, Grealish, Jesus, Torres, Palmer.

Southampton provisional squad: McCarthy, Stephens, Perraud, Livramento, Salisu, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Djenepo, Elyounoussi, A Armstrong, Forster, Walker-Peters, Lyanco, Bednarek, Valery, Tella, Diallo, Adams, Broja, Long.