Stones limps off injured ahead of Man City vs Arsenal, live on Sky

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John Stones limped off injured early on during England’s match against Belgium on Tuesday, just days ahead of Manchester City’s huge Premier League clash with Arsenal.

The City defender was substituted off after nine minutes at Wembley and replaced by Joe Gomez.

It’s a further blow for Man City boss Pep Guardiola, who saw another one of his defenders, Kyle Walker, forced off injured during England’s friendly with Brazil on Saturday, while centre-back Manuel Akanji withdrew from Switzerland’s squad with a knock.

Stones, Walker and Akanji will now be doubts for that meeting of the title rivals at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, which is live on Sky Sports.

Reporting from Wembley, Sky Sports’ Rob Dorsett said: “Oh no. More injury problems for England. John Stones has indicated to the bench he has a groin problem. Joe Gomez is hurriedly warming up.

“Spare a thought for Pep Guardiola, ahead of this huge Premier League encounter against Arsenal on Sunday. Already concerned about Kyle Walker and his hamstring problem that’s forced him out of the England squad, now Stones – who doesn’t go down or come off the pitch easily – has a groin problem. “

Ahead of the match, England boss Gareth Southgate had described the country’s injury situation as the worst he’d ever experienced, with 15 regulars unavailable to him before Stones went down.

Harry Kane, Kyle Walker, Sam Johnstone and Harry Maguire have returned to their clubs with injury problems since the 1-0 loss to Brazil on Saturday, while Bukayo Saka pulled out before the game. Palace goalkeeper Johnstone is now touch and go for the Euros.

That added to an absentee list which also included Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Luke Shaw, Reece James, Marc Guehi, Levi Colwill, Tyrone Mings, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jack Grealish and Callum Wilson.

“It’s an incredible number unavailable to us,” said Southgate in his pre-match press conference on Monday. I haven’t experienced that before. I have to say, with everything that’s happened, the original idea or plan for the week is a little bit different.”

Man City’s next fixtures:

March 31: Arsenal (H), Premier League, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 4.30pm

April 3: Aston Villa (H), Premier League, kick-off 8.15pm

April 6: Crystal Palace (A), Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm

April 9: Real Madrid (A), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

April 13: Luton (H), Premier League, kick-off 3pm

April 17: Real Madrid (A), Champions League quarter-final, kick-off 8pm

April 20: Chelsea (N), FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, kick-off 5.30pm

April 25: Brighton (A), Premier League, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 8pm

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