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Pep Guardiola discusses whether Kalvin Phillips will start for Manchester City at Arsenal following Rodri red card



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola remained tight-lipped on the subject of who will replace Rodri in the side’s starting line-up in their next three matches.

The defensive midfielder received a straight red card in the 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon, after he was adjudged to have raised his hands to the neck of Morgan Gibbs-White during an altercation between the central pair.

With the red card being termed as ‘violent conduct’, Rodri is now expected to receive a three-match ban for Manchester City, and as such miss their Carabao Cup third round clash against Newcastle United, as well as the Premier League meetings with Wolves and Arsenal.

While Pep Guardiola admitted that he does not know who will replace the Spain international in his Manchester City side, he was keen to praise the performance of Kalvin Phillips against Nottingham Forest.

“He played really good today. For the type of game, what we needed, defensively and keeping the ball and run, he was amazing,” said Pep Guardiola. “I’m so pleased for him because he’s an incredible guy, never one bad face when he didn’t play the minutes.

“I know he’s a player for the national team of England, and with me, with us he doesn’t play much. But he played really good and helped us a lot.”

When further pressed on the possibility of Kalvin Phillips being the best-suited to come in for the suspended Rodri, Guardiola continued, “I don’t know. Still I didn’t think about that. Now I’ll go home, tomorrow training and day off afterwards, and prepare the game in Newcastle. We’ll see how many players we’ll have available.”

Manchester City travel to St. James’ Park on Wednesday night as they begin their Carabao Cup adventure for another season, with Eddie Howe’s side fresh off the back of a positive result in their opening Champions League encounter – a 0-0 draw against AC Milan at the San Siro.

The trip to Italy was then followed up by a remarkable result in Premier League action on Sunday evening, despite concerns over squad fitness, as Newcastle demolished Sheffield United in a 0-8 victory at Bramall Lane.

City are likely to heavily rotate their squad on Wednesday night, with Pep Guardiola having already hinted towards using players who require minutes, and the possibility of bringing in Academy names to bolster his options.