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Pep Guardiola confirms one doubt and one absence from Manchester City squad for Bournemouth clash

Harry Siddall

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Pep Guardiola confirms one doubt and one absence from Manchester City squad for Bournemouth clash

Featured Image Credit: Action Plus Sports Images / Alamy

After making a winning start to their Premier League title defence, Manchester City face AFC Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday

Erling Haaland's brace stole all the headlines, but a brilliant all-round performance showed the Blues mean business and are looking to make it three consecutive domestic successes.

They face a Bournemouth side who - under the guidance of Scott Parker - earned automatic promotion back to England's top flight last season.

The Cherries also enjoyed opening day success against Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa, winning 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium.

With a stubborn defence, but potent counter-attacking threat, Pep Guardiola knows his team will face a stern test come 3pm on Saturday.

However, he'll have try and pick up three points without two key members of the squad.

Kalvin Phillips makes his Man City debut (Sportimage / Alamy)
Kalvin Phillips makes his Man City debut (Sportimage / Alamy)

Guardiola has confirmed Kalvin Phillips is unavailable and Cole Palmer is a 'doubt' for a crucial Premier League clash against AFC Bournemouth.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Catalan boss said: "Kalvin has some niggles and won't be able [to play]. Cole Palmer had a knock in his feet in the last days and is a doubt for tomorrow."

After making his £45 million move from Leeds United this summer, Phillips made his City debut on Sunday, coming on as a late substitute at the London Stadium.

A regular in the England set-up, the Yorkshire-born midfielder is expected to continue his rapid development alongside some of the finest players in the world.

Cole Palmer will also become more involved with the first-team squad after making the breakthrough earlier last season.

Towards the end of the campaign, a foot injury hampered his opportunities, so the player and club will be hoping this is not a repeat of previous issues.

Kevin de Bruyne applauds Cole Palmer after his goal against Wycombe. Image: PA Images
Kevin de Bruyne applauds Cole Palmer after his goal against Wycombe. Image: PA Images

When asked how ready his squad is for the challenge, Guardiola said: "Ready, I saw their game. I have a lot of respect for Scott Parker, the patterns are so clear.

"We spoke and trained and we're ready. It's so tricky [to face promoted teams early], the first games are so difficult, they don't feel pressure because they are in incredible mood.

"They don't have anything to lose, after the good karma being promoted, makes it complicated.

"After a few months all the teams have injuries, good moments bad moments, the mood in the locker room, these things happen. In the first games everyone push to do better. Always tricky."

In such a jam-packed season, every game is important if City want to build momentum at the top of the Premier League.

Against such a stubborn backline, Guardiola will need all his forward talent fit and firing from kick-off.

Topics: Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, Bournemouth, Kalvin Phillips

Harry Siddall
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