Guardiola confirms Kalvin Phillips ‘will start’ Newcastle Carabao Cup clash

Man City manager Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola confirms that Kalvin Phillips “will start” in Carabao Cup third round clash with Newcastle tomorrow night.

Pep confirmed Phillips will play from the off for the first time this season, having not made a start for City since their final home game of the season against Chelsea last year.   

It will only be his fifth start for the club after arriving from Leeds United for £42 million last summer and since then the Englishman has struggled to get into the side as a result of the sheer quality of the current occupant in his position, Rodri.  

Jack Grealish and Mateo Kovacic are also available again, but City are without John Stones, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, whilst Rodri is suspended for three games following his red card against Nottingham Forest. 

Tomorrow’s game will also be the first of four successive away matches for Guardiola and his side, with trips to Wolves, RB Leipzig and Arsenal on the agenda after Newcastle.  

Pep said: “We have a lot of players injured and a lot of players with a lot of minutes – with the national team, with the team – and they have to rest because tomorrow is important, but Wolves, Leipzig and Arsenal are much more important. 

“The guys who didn’t play much are going to play and see what happens with the rest to try to make a good starting XI and travel there to win the game. 

“There’s no doubt about that but I have to take a consideration that a lot of effort we have in this period, with many players, a lot of minutes, and we have to avoid for them to get injured again otherwise we’ll be in trouble.” 

Manchester City are usually so dominant in this competition given the vast amount of quality in their squad but last year they were knocked out by a shock defeat to Southampton in the quarter-finals.  

City won the Carabao Cup for four straight years from 2018 to 2021 and despite Pep earmarking other fixtures as the priority, they still remain one of the favourites to win it.  

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