Connect with us


Revealed: Why Ruben Dias was named on the Manchester City bench for crucial Liverpool clash



| Last Updated:


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed his reasoning for naming centre-back Ruben Dias on the bench for Sunday’s showdown Premier League fixture against Liverpool.

The treble-winners visit Anfield looking to move to the top of the Premier League table with a victory over rivals Liverpool on Merseyside on Sunday afternoon, as Pep Guardiola’s side continue to pursue a fourth successive title.

Manchester City, who came from behind to beat Manchester United 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium last weekend, are unbeaten in all competitions since early December and also qualified for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in midweek.

The Sky Blues have won just two of the last eight meetings between the two teams, and have won just once at Anfield since 2003 – a 4-1 victory in 2021.

Guardiola’s side drew 1-1 with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in November, after Trent Alexander-Arnold cancelled out Erling Haaland’s opening goal with an 80th minute strike.

The Manchester City boss has made several changes to the team that played in the reverse fixture, notably choosing to name centre-back Ruben Dias as a substitute.

The Catalonian has opted for a centre-back pairing of John Stones and Manuel Akanji, with Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake making up the back-line for the Blues.

Dias has started 32 matches for City so far this season, and the 28-year-old has played in seven previous meetings against Liverpool since signing in 2020.

The Portugal international has become a mainstay for City at centre-back, and has played an important role in the Blues’ success both domestically and in Europe.

Eyebrows were raised by Guardiola’s decision to name Dias on the bench for Sunday’s game, with the 52-year-old explaining the reason for his decision pre-match.

Asked whether Dias’ omission was tactical, Guardiola said:”Having incredible three, four central defenders so I decide for Manu [Akanji] for his speed. He’s facing one of the fastest players.”