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Guardiola explains his unconventional centre-back choices

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City
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Manchester City took the easy 3-0 win against Crystal Palace yesterday as Guardiola’s side look to be back on track in the Premier League hunt.

With Laporte out with injury on a long-term, and Stones just getting back into full fitness, City is short on centre-back options.

This prompted Pep Guardiola to look for different solutions, as the only healthy centre-back was the unreliable Argentinian – Nicolas Otamendi.

Liverpool, Manchester City, Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 04: Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, Rodrigo, John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko of Manchester City defend a free kick during the FA Community Shield match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on August 04, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

City’s defensive pairing against Palace was Rodri and Fernandinho, who usually play as defensive midfielders.

However, the duo delivered a great performance against quick and dangerous Palace attacking line.

Guardiola spoke after the match, and according to Football365, said:

“We had a lot of chances, unfortunately, we cannot convert more, but it’s OK, we have next time,” he commented.

“Nico had a big kick in the international with Argentina and in training yesterday I decided and thought about it.

“It’s a long season and we are going to use alternatives. John is now back, but he didn’t play for a long time.”

In the end, Guardiola praised the converted centre-backs for their adaptability, concluding:

“I thank them (Fernandinho and Rodri) both so much because it is not easy to play different positions with strikers like Crystal Palace have in Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke. They did really well.”