Man City vs Newcastle: Pep Guardiola releases team for Carabao Cup

Pep Guardiola Irobiko Chimezie

Kalvin Phillips will start for Manchester City against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup, while Mateo Kovacic is back from injury and will play some part.

City have a number of ongoing injury concerns, and Guardiola said he would have to rest some regulars for the Carabao Cup third-round tie in order to help them recover.

Previewing the game, Guardiola confirmed that Phillips would start at St James’ Park with Rodri suspended, while Ederson is likely to sit out as he usually does in the domestic cup competitions in place of Stefan Ortega.

Guardiola also confirmed that Mateo Kovacic is back from injury, while Jack Grealish is also set to feature after returning from the bench against Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

“He [Kalvin] will start,” Guardiola said. “Jack is much better, Mateo as well, I don’t know how many minutes, maybe the second half, but they will play.

“We don’t think about 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 so is Arsenal and Leipzig, much important. I have to take into consideration the effort in this period and the injuries or we’re going to be in trouble.”

Regarding Phillips, Guardiola said he has been pleased with the midfielder’s contributions so far for City, even if minutes have been harder to come by over the last 12 months.

“Not just this week for many, many times since he arrived, he’s been really important,” he said.

“His consistency, he does everything in the game what happened against Nottingham, it was more defensive, resilient, defend and he helped us breathe. The important [thing] is when you act in the smaller spaces we try to help him. The game tomorrow is important and every single game I’ll decide what’s best for the team.”

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