Pep Guardiola has confirmed Mateo Kovacic, Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips will feature for Manchester City in Wednesday evening’s Carabao Cup clash against Newcastle United (kick-off 8pm).
Speaking after the 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday, Guardiola said he won’t “waste one percent of energy” on the the visit to St James’ Park after bemoaning his side’s injury list.
As a result, the Spaniard has revealed he will make changes but still has the luxury of calling upon three players worth around £170million in combined transfer fees.
Guardiola says Kovacic and Grealish will play some part following their recent injuries, while Phillips is set to be handed his first start of the 2023-24 campaign.
“Jack is much better, Mateo as well,” said Guardiola during his pre-match press conference. “I don’t know how many minutes, from the beginning or second half, but they’re going to play minutes, yeah.”
Guardiola is without Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones and Bernardo Silva - and the former Barcelona man played down the possibility of Ruben Dias and Kyle Walker featuring at the weekend having played a lot of minutes this term.
Meanwhile, Rodri is also suspended, meaning Guardiola will turn to Phillips, who has struggled since his £45m move from Leeds United last summer.
“He will start,” Guardiola added. Not just this week but for many times since he arrived, Rodri has been really important, his consistency, he knows everything, the game like what happened against Forest.
“The second half was a little bit more defensively, you have to do the process, and [Phillips] made three or four incredible options to help us breathe.
“We have to make the process in small spaces and tried to help him to make this step.
“Of course the game tomorrow is important for the next ones, we’ll see in every single game and I will decide what is best for the team.”