If Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias look to have quickly established themselves as first choice in Manchester City's defence, then what does the future hold for John Stones?

He has Nathan Ake, Fernandinho, and (for this season at least) Eric Garcia to contend with for occasional cameos and starts in less important games for City. After a frustrating season last year, it's no surprise that Stones' future has been the subject of plenty of rumours in recent months.

So the defender will have known his latest chance, in the Champions League at Olympiacos, had plenty of pressure attached to show why he deserves to be in Pep Guardiola's long term plans. His own experience would suggest one poor performance could dictate his position for the next couple of months in Guardiola's defensive plans.

But this was a more confident performance from Stones than he had been putting in last season. If the Champions League is the stage where he will get to stake his claim to start - he's already played more this season than the whole of last season in Europe - then he looked like he is ready to take that opportunity.

With a reliable figure like Ruben Dias alongside him, Stones was winning tackles from the start, preventing the ball from spending any more time in the City half than was necessary. In the first half, Stones made the most tackles, most interceptions and most aerial duels. He will need to show more consistency going forward, but this was a performance of a player willing to fight for his City future.

Maybe the arrival of Dias will bring out the best of Stones, as he looks to convince Guardiola he has a place in his plans for the next two and a half seasons. In the immediate future, the England man has earned more chances as Dias and Aymeric Laporte will need their game time managing.

Then there is Benjamin Mendy - another player who is in danger of losing his place as Joao Cancelo has looked far more reliable at left-back in the Frenchman's latest injury absence.

This, albeit against a limited and injury-hit Olympiacos side, was a much more recognisable Mendy showing, more like the attacking left-back City bought in 2017. The hosts played a deep block, but a narrow one, allowing Mendy to provide an overlap on the left, always offering an option. His crossing was better than usual, and his defending good enough against a side not too bothered with attacking.

He will have to show improvement against better opposition to truly convince Guardiola of his long-term future in his starting XI, but for a first game back after injury, in response to Cancelo's good form, this was encouraging from Mendy.

As for Cancelo, he was composed on his preferred right side as Walker got a rest.

With Walker 30-years-old, Guardiola may not be able to rely on the England man as much as he has done for the last few seasons in the coming years, however impressive he has been in 2020. Cancelo will hope to be the long-term successor on the right, and this performance was evidence that he could well be the man to do that.

For the time being, he will likely get more opportunities on the right, but this game showed that City's back up cast in each of the key defensive positions are ready to do their job when called upon.

If this was an audition for Guardiola's supporting cast to show they are more than understudy's, then they will have at least earned call-backs.