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Guardiola welcomes selection headache after derby draw

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says impressive performances, particularly in defence, are making it tough for him to leave players out of his matchday squad.

Although three points would obviously have been the preferred outcome from our goalless draw at Manchester United, a club record sixth consecutive clean sheet is certainly a significant consolation.

John Stones and Ruben Dias started as a centre-back pairing for the third consecutive Premier League game and were solid once again at the heart of the defence.

However, the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia and Nathan Aké have also impressed in recent Champions League shutouts against Porto and Marseille respectively.

And Guardiola admitted that, while it can be difficult to leave players out when they are performing well, he is pleased to be presented with this kind of dilemma.

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Speaking about Laporte, he said: “He deserves to be in the team, but John Stones and Ruben also deserve to be in the team.

“It’s how you perform today, right now, and right now John and Ruben were brilliant and that is why they play.”

Aymeric… and Nathan Aké played extraordinary well in the last game against Marseille.

“I have to make a selection, that’s all. They don’t make mistakes and that’s why, Aymeric will be back.”

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With this in mind, the boss also sent out a message to his entire squad after the 0-0 draw with Manchester United, insisting their chance will come to stake their claim for a starting spot in the midst of a busy festive fixture schedule.

“Every player in the squad has incredible skills, it’s like United players, Liverpool or Tottenham,” he said.

 “The season is long. The moment will come and when that moment comes, in that moment, they need to make a good performance.”

Hear the boss’ thoughts in full by watching the video above…

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