The Football Manc Cave

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Two defenders to step up in Laporte’s absence for Man City

Who can step up and save Guardiola from his defensive headache after Laporte's crucial injury?

Man City fans fear for their title chances after centre-back Aymeric Laporte’s injury could see him miss a lot of action this season…

But Guardiola has lucrative options available to him, which could see his side concede a low amount of goals in the current title race between himself and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.

Man City conceded only 23 goals last season, one more than Liverpool. This season, they have conceded 3 goals in 4 games, but have scored a whopping 14. Guardiola’s attack can certainly out-do every opponent that will face, even if they conceded, they will score more.

But having a solid defence is pivotal in the longevity of a Premier League season. With their number one centre-back out, these two players have to step up this season.

Kyle Walker/Joao Cancelo

Kyle Walker is no stranger to playing centre-back, and could certainly do a job for Guardiola. With Joao Cancelo as an option for a right-back, it allows Walker to move to a centre-back position without hindering other positions, as Cancelo is considered one of the best full-backs in Europe.

Walker’s defensive ability and pace will be useful when dealing with counter-attacks. But Man City’s ability to play the ball out from the back may suffer slightly, giving unnecessary opportunities for the opposition to pounce.

Nicolas Otamendi

John Stones suffered a thigh strain in the opening day of the season, and Otamendi has been his cover, although he is rumoured to be leaving the club next year.

With a return of Stones, partnered with Otamendi, the two could partner up and replicate their 2017/18 feat of the best defensive record of any champions since Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 2008-09 with only 24 goals conceded.

Should the 31-year-old have a blinding season for Guardiola, his move away could change dramatically. If Otamendi leaves the club at all, it could be a big-money signing on the back of a season where he was the saving grace.

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