Sagna sidelined for three weeks as Manchester City lose defender for key clashes

Manchester City's defensive lynchpin Bacary Sagna will miss key clashes against Manchester United and FC Barcelona in the coming weeks after an injury while on international duty with France.

Sagna sidelined for three weeks as Manchester City lose defender for key clashes
Sagna at full time following France's victory last Friday | Photo: Getty Images Sport /Xavier Laine

During France's victory over Bulgaria in a 2018 World Cup Qualifier, Manchester City's Bacary Sagna suffered a torn hamstring whilst featuring for 'Les Bleus'. 

Despite not being as bad as initially feared, the Frenchman still faces a minimum three week lay off meaning he will be absent for both City's Champions League tie with FC Barcelona and the EFL Cup clash with Manchester United.

Sagna injured with France during international break

Since joining in the summer of 2014 on a free from Arsenal, Sagna has enjoyed some of his best football whilst in Manchester. Initially struggling to displace Pablo Zabaleta, Sagna has quickly gone from understudy to the outright first choice when fit. 

The injury couldn't have come at a worse time with City facing two mammoth ties this month and given the shaky form of City's fullbacks recently, the Blues might be in for a very unforgiving ride. Zabaleta's performance against Tottenham Hotspur made it all too apparent that whilst he may have a fantastic defensive brain, his pace and movement is but a shadow of what he was.

Defensive injury comes ahead of two key clashes for the Citizens 

Sagna would have been a starter against both United and Barcelona but in his absence can Zabaleta provide adequate cover? There's the option of deploying Pablo Maffeo but in a game of such magnitude with experience as little as his, it could be a foolish gamble.

The only other option City have would be to implement either Fernando or Fernandinho as a fullback. Despite their versatility, it may prove to be a waste of their talent and leave City exposed in the middle of the park. 

City will be hopeful that they can get a reduced time on Sagna's recovery with the physiotherapy team working tirelessly to nurse the Frenchman back to match fitness, his importance to City's defence cannot be understated.