Pep Guardiola hits out at Kalvin Phillips over fitness concerns

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Philips
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola revealed to reporters that midfielder Kalvin Phillips did not feature against Liverpool on Thursday as he returned to the club overweight.

The 27-year-old was part of England’s World Cup squad, previously a doubt for the tournament with a shoulder injury, but barely featured in the Three Lions’ five games in Qatar.

With no injury concerns, the former Leeds midfielder was expected to return to action for Manchester City’s Carabao Cup clash against the Reds, but was not in the squad at all as City ran out 3-2 winners.

Guardiola revealed that Phillips was unable to play a part in the match but initially there was no further explanation, but the boss has now clarified that Phillips’ absence had nothing to do with his injury problems.

“He’s not injured – he came [back to Man City] overweight. I don’t know [why]. He didn’t come in a condition to train and play,” a frustrated Guardiola admitted to reporters.

It is unclear when Phillips will return to training, but his absence leaves Guardiola with only Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan as possible options for a deeper midfield role in City’s squad.

Youngster Alex Robertson featured on the bench in the Carabao Cup tie against Liverpool in Phillips’ absence.

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