Ruben Dias: Pep Guardiola makes Man City defender one of his five captains this season | Football News

Ruben Dias will be one of five Manchester Cty players sharing the captain’s armband this season, says manager Pep Guardiola.

Dias, who signed a new six-year deal in the summer, joined City from Benfica last year and was a mainstay of Guardiola’s defence as he helped the club win the Premier League title.

The Portugal defender, named Premier League Player of the Season as well as England’s Footballer of the Year in a stellar debut campaign, led the team in Wednesday’s 6-3 thrashing of RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

“Everyone has to be their own leader,” Guardiola told the club website on Friday. “Every season we make the selection of captains. The players and backroom staff make the decision.

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“Eleven months and one week we are all here together, and they know who are the best to represent the team. We all choose our five captains.”

Dias, 24, said he was proud to be named one of the captains and ready for the responsibility.

“It’s definitely a big responsibility and I will do my best to be there for everyone,” he said.

City, fifth on the table after four matches, host Southampton on Saturday.

City vs Soton preview: Stones, Laporte out, Long returns

Champions Manchester City are again without defenders John Stones and Aymeric Laporte for the visit of Southampton in the Premier League.

Jamie Vardy is clattered by Aymeric Laporte
Image:
Aymeric Laporte is out of Saturday’s game

The pair are both still troubled by the muscular injuries that kept them out of the midweek Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.

Fellow centre-back Nathan Ake, whose father died during the game on Wednesday, is expected to be available. Second-choice goalkeeper Zack Steffen is still out after testing positive for coronavirus.

Striker Shane Long will be available for Southampton after completing his isolation following a positive Covid-19 test.

Midfielder Will Smallbone is back in full team training after eight months on the sidelines with a serious knee injury but is not expected to be rushed back into match action.

Winger Theo Walcott and midfielder Stuart Armstrong are still sidelined with calf muscle issues.

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We take a look ahead to this weeks action as Tottenham host Chelsea, Aston Villa take on Everton and West Ham go up against Manchester United

Follow Man City vs Southampton in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel at 5.15pm.

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