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Other SportsPhillips set to start for Manchester City at Newcastle

Phillips set to start for Manchester City at Newcastle

Kalvin Phillips will start Manchester City’s EFL Cup clash at Newcastle on Wednesday night after earning praise from Pep Guardiola for his starring role in the weekend win over Nottingham Forest.

Phillips has struggled to make an impact at the Etihad following his 2022 summer arrival from Leeds but came on to great effect against Forest, helping City preserve their 2-0 advantage after the 46th-minute dismissal of Rodri.

The England international will remain in the line-up for the trip to Tyneside and get the chance to stake his claim for more regular inclusion with Rodri set to miss the next three domestic games.

Asked about Phillips, Guardiola said: “Not just this week but many, many times since he arrived, he’s been really important. 

“His consistency…he does everything in the game. What happened against Nottingham, it was more defensive, resilient and he helped us breathe. 

“The game tomorrow is important and every single game I’ll decide what’s best for the team.”

Guardiola also hinted at starts for Jack Grealish and Mateo Kovacic at St James’ Park as he rotates his squad. The EFL Cup has been fertile ground for City in recent times – they have won the trophy six times in the last 10 years – but the Catalan admitted it is the least of his priorities as they attempt to match last season’s treble.

He added: “I don’t think about [the fixture list] much, it’s just what’s next which is Newcastle. 

“Now is an exceptional situation, a lot of players are injured and a lot have played a lot of minutes and they have to rest. 

“Tomorrow is important but Wolves, Arsenal and RB Leipzig are much more important. I have to take into consideration the effort in this period and the injuries or we’re going to be in trouble.”

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