Gold Cup

Center-back shortage hands Guardiola new dilemma in defense

First it was having a quartet of aging full backs unable to deliver on his demands. Then it was going eight months without a genuine left back.

This season, there's another defensive issue facing Pep Guardiola at Manchester City: a shortage of center backs.

With long-serving captain Vincent Kompany released in the offseason and Aymeric Laporte ruled out for the rest of 2019 because of a knee injury, City was already lacking numbers at center back when John Stones sustained a muscle injury in training this week and could be sidelined until November.