Pep Guardiola’s tinkering keeps Manchester City A-listers on their toes | Jamie Jackson

Sterling, Silva and Stones are among recent victims of a policy that has backfired against Chelsea before and may do again

Rodri, João Cancelo, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva: the Manchester City A-list acts recently dropped by Pep Guardiola for culpabilities (apparently) unknown.

This is the savant manager’s intriguing idiosyncrasy: an enigmatic bent for removing star turns from the XI that can cause bafflement and which yields mixed results. Now, as City play Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool (all away) in a pivotal eight-day sequence that starts at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Rodri, Cancelo, Laporte and Silva are back in favour (for the moment), while Stones and Sterling remain exiled.

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