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Manchester City duo Kalvin Phillips, Cole Palmer available to face Newcastle United

Manchester City duo Kalvin Phillips, Cole Palmer available to face Newcastle United

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that Kalvin Phillips and Cole Palmer are both available for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Newcastle United.

After making his top-flight debut for the Citizens as a substitute against West Ham United, summer signing Phillips was not involved in the 4-0 win over Bournemouth last weekend due to injury.

Like Phillips, Palmer also made a cameo appearance off the bench against the Hammers and then missed the victory against the Cherries due to a minor foot problem.

However, Guardiola confirmed at his pre-match press conference ahead of their trip to St James’ Park that both players are available for selection this weekend.

“Cole is back. Kalvin is back. Some niggles for some players but the rest are okay,” the Spaniard said on Friday.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on August 13, 2022© Reuters

City’s only injury concern is with centre-back Aymeric Laporte, who is set to remain sidelined for the rest of this month after undergoing knee surgery.

Guardiola has also revealed that City’s latest addition Sergio Gomez will travel with the rest of the first-team squad to Newcastle following his £11m arrival from Anderlecht on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old, who has signed a five-year contract with the Premier League champions, has trained with his new teammates this week and is set to provide competition at left-back Joao Cancelo.

Guardiola is pleased with what he has seen from his Spanish compatriot so far, adding: “So far, so good. No complaints. [Gomez] is settling in, his mood is exceptional and he is starting to know us. He will travel with us (for Sunday’s game).”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates their first goal on May 8, 2022© Reuters

On Newcastle, Guardiola has been impressed with the club’s turnaround since the appointment of head coach Eddie Howe in November last year.

The Magpies were rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table without a win from their opening 11 games before Howe’s arrival, but an upturn in form along with a number of winter-window signings helped steer the club to safety and they finished the campaign 14 points above the relegation zone.

City cruised to a 5-0 victory at home to Newcastle in May of last season before securing their fourth Premier League title in five years, but Guardiola is expecting a more challenging contest at St James’ Park on Sunday in a stadium he has decided as “one of the best” he has been to during his time in England.

“They had an incredible run of games (at the backend of last season) and after that they were safe,” Guardiola added. “Our level of attention and concentration was high because we had four games left and we gave everything and got as good result. But I saw in the game against them we struggled with the second balls.

“They are exceptional in terms of how direct and aggressive they are. Eddie Howe always makes competitive teams – at Bournemouth and here. Newcastle away is always an incredible environment. The stadium is one of the best I have seen here.”

City, who currently sit top of the Premier League table after two matches, head into Sunday’s fixture having won each of their last six meetings against Newcastle, scoring at least four goals on four of these occasions.

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