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PREMIER LEAGUE

Why is Rodri not playing for Manchester City?

The Spanish midfielder is not in Pep Guardiola’s squad for the Premier League fixture against Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Update:
Rodri misses out for Manchester City
OLI SCARFFAFP

Manchester City will be without midfielder Rodri as they look to bounce back from a disappointing draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

The 27-year-old picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the Premier League last Sunday, triggering an automatic one-game suspension.

City appeared to be closing in on an important victory over Spurs last weekend, until Dejan Kulusevski struck an injury time leveller. The reigning champions were left frustrated after a bizarre decision from referee Simon Hooper denied Jack Grealish a late opportunity to win it.

Rodri was booked in the 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
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Rodri was booked in the 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.PETER POWELLEFE

They travel to an in-form Aston Villa that are currently fourth in the Premier League table. Unai Emery’s side are particularly strong at Villa Park, where they have won 13 consecutive Premier League games.

What is Manchester City’s record without Rodri?

Earlier this season City boss Pep Guardiola said that Rodri is the best midfielder in Europe, describing him as “an extraordinary holding midfielder.”

Rodri is a crucial presence at the base of Manchester City’s midfield, bringing a physicality and a defensive stability to the team’s attacking prowess. His importance to the team is demonstrated by City’s record when he is absent, falling far short of their usual standards.

In 150 Premier League games with Rodri in the team, Manchester City have a win percentage of 73%. Without him, that figure drops to 56%.

City have lost six of the 16 matches played without Rodri and that trend has been particularly pronounced this season. So far Rodri has missed two Premier League fixtures and those games - against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal - are City’s only two defeats.

Why isn’t Jack Grealish playing for Manchester City?

The Englishman has been forced to take a secondary role this season, owing to the impressive impact made by summer signing Jeremy Doku.

Grealish scored what appeared to be the winner against Spurs last weekend, until Kulusevski’s late heroics, but he will not feature against his former team on Wednesday. He picked up his fifth booking of the season for a handball in the second half, ensuring that he is suspended for the trip to Aston Villa.

Birmingham-born Grealish came through the Aston Villa academy and went on to captain the team as they were promoted back to the Premier League. He made the £100 million move to Manchester City two years ago and has gone on to win back-to-back titles with the club.

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