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“He didn’t even know!” – John Stones had no idea who Manchester City are playing next, reveals Arsenal star



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Arsenal and England star Declan Rice has revealed that prior to informing him, Manchester City’s John Stones had no idea about their upcoming top-flight clash.

The Premier League champions are going in pursuit of a staggering fourth successive English top-flight title this season, while facing stern competition from not only Arsenal, but a Liverpool side motivated by the impending exit of their legendary coach Jurgen Klopp.

Alongside their domestic hopes, Manchester City also have one eye on retaining their UEFA Champions League crown for the first time ever, as they were paired with Real Madrid in the quarter-final stage of Europe’s premier competition.

But as mentioned on several occasions by Manchester City stars, it is merely about looking at each game individually, and not looking beyond the task at hand. For one of Pep Guardiola’s first-team mainstays, that remained the ongoing international break.

Speaking via The Telegraph, Declan Rice has revealed the hilarious interaction he had with Manchester City’s John Stones upon their arrival for England international duty, and how little the latter knew about the upcoming clash at the Etihad Stadium.

“The first day I came (on England duty), I saw John Stones and he didn’t even know they were playing us next,” said Rice, laughing. “When he’s away from football he likes to be with his family and switch off and I get that, he likes to take one game at a time.”

Rico continued, “I said ‘big game next’ and John said ‘who are you playing?’ and I said ‘we’ve got you lot!’ He said ‘oh yeah!’ That tells you how much we speak about it when we’re here! With Walks (Kyle Walker) he always has a little bit of banter, he’s a great lad.”

Manchester City’s players are expected to make their first reappearances to the City Football Academy training facility on Wednesday evening, while Thursday marks the start of the club’s preparations for the weekend’s clash with Arsenal.

Guardiola and his coaching staff will be hoping that the club remain largely unaffected by injury during the ongoing international break, having already succumbed to two defensive problems in the last few days.

Kyle Walker was withdrawn from action against Brazil for England with a suspected hamstring problem, whilst Manuel Akanji exited the Switzerland set-up due to a knock sustained prior to his nation’s final friendly against Ireland on Tuesday evening.