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John Stones sustains injury with England ahead of Manchester City’s Arsenal showdown



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John Stones was forced out of action for England in their international friendly clash against Belgium on Tuesday evening due to an unfortunate injury.

It is the latest blow in a growing list of problems sustained by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City defensive options, following on from Kyle Walker in England’s last outing as well as Manuel Akanji in the run-up to Switzerland’s final meeting this week.

Walker succumbed to a hamstring issue in the first-half of Gareth Southgate’s side’s 0-1 defeat to Brazil over the course of the weekend, forcing the Manchester City captain out of action and into doubt ahead of the upcoming Premier League meeting with Arsenal.

As for Manuel Akanji, the Swiss international centre-back – who has started all of his nation’s last 16 contests – was withdrawn from the squad list to face the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night and returning early to Manchester.

Now, Manchester City staff, players, and supporters have witnessed arguably their most damaging loss of the ongoing international break, with John Stones forced off the field at Wembley Stadium this week.

The 29-year-old was withdrawn and replaced by Joe Gomez after just 10 minutes of action, having sustained a problem with his right ankle, with replays revealing an issue as the Manchester City defender attempted to turn on the ball in midfield.

It remains to be seen just how serious John Stones’ problem is, however England boss Gareth Southgate is likely to be quizzed on the matter after the contest, with Pep Guardiola scheduled to face the media for a round-up of his squad’s fitness on Friday afternoon.

Manchester City’s number five has sustained his latest injury concern at possibly the worst time in the campaign, with Pep Guardiola and his players entering a crunch period of fixtures across multiple competitions.

Following the meeting with Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, April will see Manchester City take on Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final as well as Real Madrid across two-legs in the UEFA Champions League.

Those contests are also accompanied by mammoth Premier League away visits to the likes of Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace, as well as the club’s rearranged meeting with Brighton & Hove Albion towards the end of the month, currently scheduled on a Thursday night.