Manchester City faces Wolves with two true talismans in their ranks. We are talking about Rúben Dias and John Stones, who have not yet known defeat in almost 10 months of 2023. They are the only ones with this privilege within the major leagues, even ahead of several teammates.
Manchester City's winning inertia is scary. Pep Guardiola's team started the bike back in February to overcome Arsenal in the Premier League, win the Champions League and start a new season in an almost impeccable way. A dynamic in which he has been helped by two footballers who seem to be protected by an aura, as they remain undefeated as we enter the last quarter of 2023.
We are referring to Rúben Dias and John Stones. Among the major league players who have played more than twenty games, they are the only ones who have not lost any throughout the year, as we can see in BeSoccer Pro. Authentic talismans who have been in the big events of the Mancunian team and who coincidentally were not in any of City's few 2 defeats.
The Portuguese center back is without a doubt the defensive reference of the 'sky blues'. For Pep, his arrival was crucial. Manchester City went from suffering from a timorous and innocent defense to a firm and confident defense. Strong at crossing and in close combat, well above and above the bar that the Santpedor player sets for his team with the ball at his feet, Rúben Dias also makes the defender who accompanies him better. In 2023 he has played a total of 31 games, 30 as a starter, and in them he records 26 wins and 5 draws.
For his part, Stones was precisely one of the most questioned at the time due to his mistakes in the brand. However, with Dias it has been strengthened and seems more solid. Furthermore, Guardiola reinvented him in a midfield role alongside Rodri that allowed him to start in crucial games. There he played all the Champions League qualifiers and the final against Inter Milan. In his case he has played 21 matches with 17 wins and only 4 draws. His bad luck was being injured at the end of August, although he has made progress and is currently a doubt for the Wolves.
Beyond the two undefeated, who are the ones who have lost the least in 2023? There is a list of 8 players who have only suffered 2 defeats out of 20 games played. And of them, two have worn the Manchester City shirt: Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gündogan. In both cases, their defeats were in the early stages of the season, 2-1 in the derby against United on January 14 and on February 5, 1-0 against Tottenham. Those have in fact been the only setbacks for Guardiola's team this calendar year.
Bernardo has recorded 37 matches since New Year's with 29 wins and 6 draws, in addition to those 2 losses in which he coincided on the field with Gündogan. In his case, he has competed in 36 matches, of which 8 have been with FC Barcelona. Under Xavi's orders he has maintained a good average and in total he has 27 wins and 7 draws. For Barça, 6 and 2 respectively.
Outside of Manchester City we also find interesting cases. For example, Harry Maguire's streak draws powerful attention. The centre-back, reviled for his mistakes and disappeared at the start of the season to protect him, has also lost 2 of the 22 games he has played, in which he has also won 18 and drawn only 2. Something that seriously contrasts with his 2022, in which they lost 9 of 13 duels between March and September. He helps, of course, the Red Devils' step forward with Erik ten Hag on the bench.
Other footballers who have only suffered 2 defeats in 2023 are Sebastien Haller, who has participated in 28 duels with Borussia Dortmund; Marcos Llorente, in 22 with Atlético de Madrid; Tyrell Malacia, at 21 also with United; Curtis Jones, in another 21 for Liverpool or Maxim Choupo-Moting, who has been in 20 with Bayern Munich.