Pep Guardiola offers frustrated explanation for Kalvin Phillips absence against Liverpool
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed he left midfielder Kalvin Phillips out of Thursday’s squad to face Liverpool because the Englishman returned from the World Cup ‘unfit to train’.
Phillips has played just one minute of Premier League action this season – at the end of City’s season-opener against West Ham – before a shoulder injury left him fearing for his chances of making England’s World Cup squad.
After a 40-minute return in the Carabao Cup, Phillips was included in Gareth Southgate’s squad and he went on to make two appearances at the World Cup, coming off the bench against both Senegal and Wales for a combined 40 minutes.
However, he was completely left out of City’s squad which beat Liverpool on Thursday, and after the game, Guardiola offered a blunt explanation as to why.
“Kalvin Phillips is not fit. He did not arrive in the best condition to train and play,” the boss said after the game.
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The boss offered no further information on Phillips’ fitness but did confirm City’s fears about centre-back Ruben Dias, who also missed the game after picking up a hamstring injury while away at the World Cup with Portugal.
“Ruben has a hamstring from the last game in the World Cup and he is out,” Guardiola said.
Reports have suggested that Dias is facing around a month on the sidelines, which means he could miss Premier League clashes with Chelsea and Manchester United ahead of a race to prove his fitness ahead of a trip to Tottenham on February 5.
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Arsenal pre-season 2023/24: Fixtures and schedule
Having reached new heights in the Premier League in 2022/23, Arsenal will soon be beginning their preparations for the new campaign with a pre-season tour to get ready for 2023/24.
Preparations for last season took place in Germany for Arsenal but with the Covid-19 pandemic a bit more of a distant memory for many, it is expected that more teams will be heading further afield again to either the United States of America or Asia.
Arsenal are yet to announce a full training camp location for their pre-season but they do have one fixture already confirmed which drops a big clue.
The Gunners are going to be coming up against an MLS All-Star team in Washington D.C. which will be coached by Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney. That takes place on July 19 and it is hard to imagine that Arsenal will only play one game in America.
A semi-regular fixture of Arsenal’s pre-seasons in recent years has been the Emirates Cup, but there has not been any word on whether an edition of that will be taking place or not this summer. If there is, then Arsenal could be splitting their time between America and London.
All times BST.
As is the case for almost every big club in football now, all of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies are expected to be televised live on Arsenal.com and their official app with a subscription.
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