Man City boss Pep Guardiola on Kalvin Phillips’ fitness: ‘He’s not injured, he arrived overweight’ | Soccer News

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says England midfielder Kalvin Phillips returned from the World Cup “overweight” and “not in good condition for training”.

Leeds’ summer signing had only made four substitute appearances this season due to a shoulder injury and was initially a doubt to make Gareth Southgate England team.

While Phillips’ England teammates John Stones, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish all made appearances in Man City’s 3-2 Carabao Cup win over Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium, the midfielder, who played 40 minutes in two substitute matches in Qatar, was a surprise omission from the team.

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Highlights from the Carabao Cup fourth round match between Manchester City and Liverpool.

When asked why Phillips wasn’t in good shape to play against Liverpool, Guardiola said: “He’s not injured. He arrived overweight. I don’t know. [why].

“He didn’t arrive in condition to train and play.”

A reporter went on to ask, “But he went to England, with nutritionists, etc…?”

England's Kalvin Phillips training for the World Cup
Phillips played just 40 minutes for England in Qatar

Guardiola replied: “No, no, no, no. Absolutely. That’s why he can’t play. When he’s ready, he will play, because we need him, we need him a lot.”

Asked if that was disappointing, Guardiola added: “It’s a private conversation with Kalvin.”

Guardiola is also without another World Cup star, albeit for slightly more legitimate reasons after suffering a hamstring injury in his last game against Portugal in Qatar.

“Ruben Dias is hurt. Ruben has had a hamstring since the last World Cup game and he’s been out,” he added.

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Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City side played bravely in their thrilling 3-2 win over Liverpool.

What’s next for Man City?

Manchester City resume their Premier League campaign with a trip to Phillips’ former side Leeds on 28 December; kick off 8 p.m.

Man City’s busy few weeks…

Manchester City players celebrate after Riyad Mahrez's goal against Liverpool
Manchester City players celebrate after Riyad Mahrez’s goal against Liverpool

  • December 28: Leeds United (A) – kick-off 8 p.m. (Premier League)
  • December 31st : Everton (H) – kick-off 3 p.m. (Premier League)
  • January 5: Chelsea (A) – kick-off at 8 p.m., live sky sports (Premier League)
  • January 8: Chelsea (H) – kick-off 4:30 p.m. (FA Cup)
  • January 10: Southampton (A) – 7:45 p.m. (Carabao Cup)
  • January 14: Manchester United (A) – kick-off 12.30 (Premier League)
  • January 19: Tottenham (H) – kick-off 8 p.m. (Premier League)
  • January 22: Wolves (H) – kick-off 2 p.m. (Premier League)

Thursday, January 5, 6:30 p.m.

Kick off 8:00 p.m.

Pep: Rico Lewis is ready for a ‘great decade’

Rico Lewis celebrates Man City's goal against Sevilla
Rico Lewis, who scored for Man City against Sevilla in the Champions League earlier in the season, produced another eye-catching display in the win over Liverpool

Meanwhile, Guardiola believes Manchester City have unearthed a star for the next 10 years in teenage right-back Rico Lewis.

The 18-year-old academy graduate seized his final first-team opportunity by producing a fine display in City’s hard-fought victory over rivals Liverpool.

It came after Lewis scored on his first senior start against Sevilla in the Champions League early last month and was his seventh appearance of the season overall.

“I have the feeling that without him we couldn’t play the way we played,” said City manager Guardiola who, with Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo having just returned from the World Cup, didn’t had no qualms throwing Lewis into what turned out to be high intensity. to meet.

“I’m absolutely very impressed, for a young age, with the way he played against a real, real senior team.

“It’s not about intelligence with the ball, but without it.

“We had the privilege of almost announcing that this guy is going to take a big decade, be an absolutely amazing player for Manchester City in the next few years because he’s so smart, so humble. He understands everything in a second and applies everything.

“He’s so smart. We have an amazing right-back with us for the next few years.

“He always plays well, but not (only) against Liverpool. Liverpool are special, with (Darwin) Nunez, (Mohamed) Salah, Thiago (Alcantara) and (Andy) Robertson alongside him.

“He is 18 years old and his way of playing was exceptional. He was the man of the match.”

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