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‘Dias and Stones have each other’s backs’ – Manchester City duo forging a ‘formidable’ partnership, says Lescott

The former Citizens defender has been impressed by how the two men have linked up in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI this season

Ruben Dias and John Stones are forging a “formidable” partnership according to Joleon Lescott, who says it is clear that the Manchester City duo have each other’s backs.

City currently boast the best defensive record in the Premier League, having only shipped 13 goals in their opening 15 fixtures.

Pep Guardiola’s side surrendered a clean sheet late on during their comfortable win over Chelsea on Sunday, but they still have two fewer in the goals against column than any other side in the division at present.

Their latest victory saw them move up to fifth in the top-flight standings, four points behind current leaders Liverpool having played a game less.

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Dias and Stones played the full 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge, with the former continuing his bright start to life at City following his £65 million ($89m) move from Benfica in the summer transfer window.

Stones has been the perfect foil for the Portugal international since winning his place back in Guardiola’s line up in November, and Lescott thinks their understanding is growing stronger with each passing game.

“The partnership with Dias and Stones, it’s getting formidable,” the former City defender told the club’s official website. “That comes with games and that’s a key element to any centre-back partnership, trust.

“I need to know that if I’m exposing myself for a slight second, you’ll have my back. They have that. You see them picking each other up and celebrating tackles like they’re a goal. We conceded but overall, that’s possibly one of the quietest games the goalkeeper has had.”

Nedum Onuoha echoed the sentiments of his old team-mate and expressed his belief that Guardiola now has greater strength in depth at his disposal than his rivals at other top Premier League clubs.

“When Dias was brought in, he was brought in for a reason, the problems that were maybe there, he’s been brought in to fix those,” the ex-City full-back said.

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“He’s good on the ball but is a defender first. It’s great he can play and has that confidence but how rare do you see a player who is high-fiving John Stones who’s ended up in the stands for tackling Timo Werner?

“That is different, and that’s what City needed. For the last year or so people would look at City and think they could get at them, but to see Dias playing that well, Stones play that well and to know Aymeric Laporte can come in there and others, teams don’t have that boost.

“This is a guy who could be a really good player for the team.”

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