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Pep Guardiola Sends Selection Message to John Stones Ahead of Premier League Clash Against Burnley

Pep Guardiola has spoken out about John Stones' chances of making the starting XI against Burnley at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Despite emerging as one of City's best and most important players last season, Stones is yet to feature for the Premier League champions since the start of the 2021/22 campaign.

The 27-year-old, who recently signed a fresh five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium, has however retained his starting spot for England after suffering defeat in the European Championship final this summer.

After recovering from minor injury issues at the start of the campaign, Stones has found a pathway to the starting XI rather difficult, largely due to the form and consistency displayed by Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte at the heart of defence.


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Ahead of his side's league clash against Burnley at the weekend, City boss Pep Guardiola was quizzed about the likelihood of Stones returning to the lineup against the Clarets.

"Maybe. We will decide today. John Stones was so important for us last season, he played so well alongside Ruben (Dias)," said the ex-Barcelona boss in his pre-match press-conference on Friday.

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"(Last season), Aymeric (Laporte) played a lot of minutes, but not regularly. This season Aymeric played incredibly well alongside Ruben - it's fair to let him play.


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"John is an exceptional guy and knows the situation. I'm delighted he played well for the national [team], this is why we extend his contract for the next (five) years. He will be so important."

The City boss was quick to point out that with a squad full of stars, only 11 can feature on matchday - meaning some world-class talent will be left on the bench in every game.

Guardiola added: "Always I give opportunities to players, some players play more, and this is the chance to show how good they are. I would love to give them all minutes, but I don't have an alternative, I can only pick 11."


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