Pep Guardiola hints at Manchester City squad change for Chelsea clash in Carabao Cup
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hinted at a possible change to his matchday squad for the visit of Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
City will take on their third consecutive home fixture across all competitions in midweek, as the League Cup returns for another campaign.
Pep Guardiola has had huge success in the competition during his time with the reigning Premier League champions, winning the tournament in four consecutive seasons from the 2017/18 season, through to 2020/21.
The visit of Chelsea could allow Guardiola for yet more rotation to his squad ahead of the final match of the domestic season before a pause for the World Cup.
Brentford travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the lunchtime kick-off in the Premier League, and that clash may have some impact on Pep Guardiola's thinking around his line-up for the midweek tie.
Speaking after the dramatic 2-1 win over Fulham at the weekend, the Manchester City boss was quizzed for an update on his injured England international duo, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips - both of whom have been recovering from surgery in recent weeks.
Pep Guardiola revealed on the pair, "They feel much better.
"Yesterday, Kalvin (Phillips) was the second day that he did a full training session with contact with us and he felt good."
Following up, Guardiola also revealed that his defensive midfield summer signing will make a return to the Manchester City squad for the visit of Graham Potter's side on Wednesday night.
“Against Chelsea, he will be on the bench," the Catalan coach said. He continued, "Whether to play or not, I don’t know but he will be on bench. Kalvin is much better."
However, the clash against the London club will once again come too soon for the recovering full-back Kyle Walker.
The England right-back has been recovering from groin surgery following a problem sustained in the 6-3 Manchester derby win in the Premier League.
On the status of his defender, Pep Guardiola said, “I spoke with Kyle (Walker) and he feels good too, but his surgery was later than Kalvin, that’s why I don’t know (when he will be available).”
Fans will be well aware that the main goal for the England internationals will be making themselves available for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar, that gets underway in a matter of weeks.
Manchester City's Pep Guardiola revealed he has spoken to England manager Gareth Southgate personally in recent days, but confirmed he could not give his managerial counterpart an accurate return date for either of his players.
“I spoke with Gareth Southgate ten or twelve days ago," Guardiola said. “We had a chat, a coffee, him and his assistant and we talked about them (Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips), he spoke with them and the doctors. He asked and I said I don’t know, I’m not a doctor."
Erling Haaland will be looking for more gametime on Wednesday night, as the Norwegian striker began his road to full match fitness against Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
Featuring as a second-half substitute, the 22 year-old ultimately won the game for his side via a spot-kick, after seeing a previous strike ruled out for offside.
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Topics: Pep Guardiola, Kalvin Phillips, Kyle Walker, Chelsea, Manchester City, Carabao Cup, Football