Jamie Carragher has outlined how Manchester City are facing a crisis at centre-back by saying that Pep Guardiola’s side have no “big brother” in defence unlike Liverpool.
City centre-backs John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi – who are the only two available due to Aymeric Laporte’s knee injury – were partly at fault for the 3-2 defeat to Norwich on Saturday, the club’s first away defeat since January.
Speaking on Sky Sports Monday Night Football, Carragher outlined that while Virgil van Dijk is Liverpool’s leader at the back, City are without such a presence now that Laporte is on the sidelines.
“I think what City have now in terms of centre-backs is what I call big brother and little brother,” the pundit said. “Now at Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk is the big brother and Joel Matip is the little brother.
“Matip without Van Dijk does not look the same. With Van Dijk, he’s calm and he’s confident with the big fella next to him. It’s like when your ma lets you go to the shops with your big brother, you’re OK, you’re safe.
“Pep Guardiola has got two little brothers playing at centre-back. They have got no help. Laporte is not there to help. Kompany is not there to help.
“At this moment, I don’t think Guardiola wants to put those two on the pitch together but he has got no option because he has not gone big in the summer.”
City must put the defeat to the Canaries behind them as they prepare for their first Champions League game of the season against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
Get the latest personalised City products on our new TEAMtalk Manchester City shop!