Watching John Stones and Ruben Dias play together is like watching Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand at Manchester United, believes Trevor Sinclair.
Sinclair waxed lyrical about the Manchester City pair, who have together developed a good rapport at the back this season.
Dias and Stones have made City rock solid at the back
The stats certainly show they have the makings to be an iconic centre-back partnership. In the last eight matches they’ve started together, they’ve won seven, drawn one and lost none, keeping seven clean sheets and conceding just one goal!
And Sinclair believes this blossoming partnership between the England international and Portugal star is helping City further up the pitch, with Pep Guardiola’s side hitting good form in recent weeks including a win over Man United in the Carabao Cup and a thrashing of Chelsea in the Premier League.
Sinclair told Friday’s talkSPORT Breakfast: “I think Manchester City have got two ways of playing now.
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“If you look at the possession against some teams, it’s not what it used to be. They’ve got a possession-based game where they’re dictating and getting in the final third, but also if they’re not having any joy with that they’ll sit back.
“Because they’re so confident with John Stones and Ruben Dias they’ll sit back and like we’ve seen in that 15 minutes at Chelsea, they’ll hit you on the break. They’ve got speed going forward and if you give them half a pitch to work in they’ll go and destroy you.”
On the Stones/Dias partnership, Sinclair added: “It’s been outstanding. It kind of reminds me of when Vidic and Rio were together – one of them would make a block and they’d high five each other.
Sinclair suggested Stones and Dias have helped City going forward by creating a solid foundation at the back
“It just seems they’ve got that kind of relationship and chemistry where they respect each other.
“They look like they’re a really good contrast of players; one of them wants to head the ball, Ruben Dias is a really good talker and John Stones’ stats… he’s played eight, won seven and drawn one and lost none.
“He’s got 93.4 per cent pass accuracy – that’s no.1 in the league – and this season he’s played ten, won nine, drawn one and lost none. When he’s not in the starting XI, they’ve played 15, won eight, drawn five, lost two.
Stones and Dias vs Vidic and Ferdinand
Stones and Dias
Appearances: 10
Won: 9
Drawn: 1
Lost: 0
Points-per-game: 2.8
Clean sheets: 8
Vidic and Ferdinand
Appearances: 197
Won: 136
Drawn: 32
Lost: 29
Points-per-game: 2.23
Clean sheets: 96
City will take some stopping if Dias and Stones continue to play together
“It’s there in black and white. It’s great, he’s had difficult times and been in the media for the wrong reasons, he’s been dropped from the England squad but he seems to have got his life together and it’s back together on the pitch.
“This is what we knew we [Man City] were buying. Everyone knew he had the potential to play like this and for me this is the best football he’s been playing in his career.”