What does Rodri suspension mean for Manchester City and the Premier League?
Manchester City midfielder Rodri picked up an unnecessary red card on the weekend in a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest. The Spanish international was sent off in the 46th minute after violent misconduct towards Forest’s Morgan Gibbs-White.
The red card has resulted in a three match ban and Rodri will miss out on crucial fixtures that will affect Manchester City’s title run. He will miss the Treble winners’ trip to Newcastle United in The Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening, as well as a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers and a well anticipated clash with Arsenal the week after. Rodri is not suspended from City’s Champions League trip to RB Leipzig, however, due to the red card being in place for domestic competitions only.
So what does this mean for the Manchester City side?
With Matteo Kovacic still not fully fit and questions as to whether John Stones will be back within the new few weeks, all eyes have been directed towards Kalvin Phillips. Since Phillips’ £49 million move to the Etihad last season, he has accumulated just over 600 minutes of football in all competitions and his confidence has taken a large blow.
Phillips featured for the majority of the second half against Forest and things looked positive as it is almost certain that the Englishman is going to see regular football over the next few weeks. City fans have questioned the signing of Phillips due to the lack of minutes that Pep Guardiola has granted the midfielder, but we have now come to a period where there is no other choice but to play the £50 million man. Phillips himself stated that he “wants to make a name for himself” at Manchester City and this is the perfect time to do so.
Manchester City are still yet to drop any points this season with six wins from six in the Premier League, as well as winning their first Group Stage match in the Champions League. With the absence of Rodri – who is deemed to be one of the best players in the world right now – it could be a rocky time for the Blues as they are defending their titles from a historical treble winning campaign.
As for the rest of the Premier League; clubs such as Newcastle, Wolves and Arsenal will seek to take advantage of the world-class defensive midfielder’s dismissal, as Newcastle look to knock out the Premier League winners from the Carabao Cup in hopes that Eddie Howe’s side can win their first piece of silverware since their takeover. Wolves will be looking to cause a massive upset in attempt to find positive form after a slow start to the season and Arsenal will look to get one over on Man City as the Gunners look to try and beat them to the Premier League title.