Aymeric Laporte, Clubs, English Premier League, Manchester City, Story

Alejandro Moreno and Ross Dyer rank Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool in terms of who got the hardest group draw in the UEFA Champions League.

MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is facing a defensive crisis after Aymeric Laporte was stretchered off during the clash with Brighton on Saturday.

Laporte appeared to suffer an injury to his right knee after a challenge on Brighton defender Adam Webster.

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The 25-year-old, who was due to join up with the France squad for the first time next week, lasted just 33 minutes before leaving the field on a stretcher. He was replaced with midfielder Fernandinho.

Laporte’s injury leaves Nicolas Otamendi as Guardiola’s only fit senior centre-back.

Vincent Kompany left in the summer and John Stones has not featured since the opening day of season because of a muscle injury.

City tried to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester during the summer as a replacement for Kompany but were eventually pipped to his signature by rivals Manchester United.

On Friday, Guardiola praised Laporte as “the best left-sided centre-back in the world” after the former Athletic Bilbao man earned with first call-up to the senior France squad.

He arrived at the Etihad Stadium from Athletic in a £57 million move in January 2018.

He has made 64 appearances, scoring five goals, and featured in 35 of City’s 38 Premier League games last season as they lifted the title for the second year in a row.

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