Manchester City and England star Calvin Phillips is said to be preparing for a “long absence” after being “ruled out” by Pep Guardiola over the win over Liverpool.
The midfielder has been unable to make much of an impact for Manchester City after joining the Premier League champions in the summer from Leeds United for £42m.
He suffered a shoulder injury this term so he didn’t feature for City.
He recovered from his injury in time to represent England at the World Cup, but was used sparingly by Gareth Southgate. Instead, he preferred The Three Lions president Declan Rice, Judd Bellingham, and Jordan Henderson.
Phillips is now back with Manchester City and will hope to help them retain the Premier League title once again.
But he did not feature in City’s 3-2 win over Liverpool on Thursday night in the Carabao Cup round of 16.
Guardiola stated after the match that this was because Phillips “is not in the right condition to train or play.”
Football Insider is now reporting that Phillips is “poised for an extended absence”.
The report indicates that Guardiola is “angry” when asked about Phillips after the victory over Liverpool.
Phillips was ruled out for the cup game and “is not expected to feature for City in their Premier League match against Leeds next Wednesday despite being fully fit”.
They added that the manager’s comments about Phillips “strongly indicate that he faces a big battle to win back Guardiola’s luck in the second half of the season.”
Without Phillips, Manchester City played an exciting match against Liverpool. Erling Haaland was quick to get on the scoresheet as he broke the deadlock in the first ten minutes.
Liverpool soon restored parity, although Fabio Carvalho equalized after 20 minutes. Riyad Mahrez hit the Man City team in the lead, but the guests quickly leveled the match again, as Mohamed Salah hit the net.
City were the better team over the course of the 90 minutes and Nathan Ake’s header sent them through to the quarter-finals.
Kevin De Bruyne suffered a World Cup weakness with Belgium but was in fine form against Liverpool, providing two assists.
Guardiola praised the “outstanding” midfielder after the match.
“I wasn’t here for the first training session he came back in, but I was told it was great, the match against Girona was great, and today was great,” Guardiola said.
“He just has to find the right fire within himself, just to be a little bit, I would say angry or resentful to give his best. This is his energy inside of him.
“When that happens, what a player he is: he runs, he helps to score goals, he is more than just a player.
“I know it’s not easy to find that consistency every three days, but today he has something in him that says ‘I’m going for it, I want to fight.'”
“When this happens it’s Mr. Kevin De Bruyne. What can I say, eight years he did everything for this club, an absolute legend, he will forever be remembered as one of this club’s greatest and greatest players.”
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