Pep Guardiola admits Rodri is ‘difficult to replace’ for Manchester City as the Spaniard serves a suspension.
Rodri will miss this weekend’s fixture at Wolves as the midfielder serves the second of a three-game ban, having been sent off during the Premier League win over Nottingham Forest last weekend.
The 27-year-old’s absence is a major blow to the Citizens, who exited the Carabao Cup at Newcastle in midweek without the influential star.
Guardiola admits he faces a challenge to replace Rodri for upcoming games with Wolves and Arsenal, but says City will look to ‘find another quality’.
“He is difficult to replace because of the minutes he plays and how consistent he is. But he is out, we are going to find another quality,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
Kalvin Phillips was handed a chance at Newcastle in midweek, but struggled as City lost 1-0 at St James’ Park. It continued a difficult period for the England midfielder at the club and Guardiola conceded that Phillips ‘struggles more’ in certain contests.
“He has a chance like the other ones. He’s part of the group, an incredible contribution when he doesn’t play. I don’t have any complaints. Sometimes we look for something specific. If another team has the skills. Kalvin is a perfect one if the game is everything with the details he struggles more. Newcastle was tough, he was there, his physicality. He helped us to win against Forest.”
City face a Wolves team who have won just once in six Premier League games this season, but Guardiola is not underestimating the quality of this weekend’s opponents.
“When you see the individual quality they have, especially up front with [Pedro] Neto, Matheus] Chunga, [Hwang Hee-chan]. They are really good. Gary O’Neil did a really good job with Bournemouth.
“They missed chances against Brighton and Liverpool; the quality is there.”
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