England receive injury boost as Pep Guardiola hints Kalvin Phillips could make comeback THIS WEEK

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Kalvin Phillips is set to hand England a boost in midweek by making a comeback for Manchester City following shoulder surgery.

The midfielder’s chances of making the World Cup looked bleak but he has battled back to offer Gareth Southgate an option.

Phillips is likely to earn some minutes when City take on Chelsea in the Carabao Cup at the Etihad on Wednesday — his first appearance for almost two months.

‘Kalvin feels much, much better,’ Pep Guardiola said.

‘On Friday Kalvin trained a second day full session, full contact. He feels good.

‘In the next game against Chelsea he will be on the bench. If he is going to play or not I don’t know.’

City team-mate Kyle Walker is also winning his fitness battle ahead of Qatar, although is behind Phillips in terms of a timeline.

The right-back, who offers Southgate more flexibility in a back three, underwent successful groin surgery last month. The England boss made a trip to the City Football Academy to chat to Guardiola.

‘I spoke with Gareth 10 or 12 days ago. We had a chat, a coffee with his assistant,’ Guardiola added. ‘We talked about them. He spoke with them and the doctors, asked about the evolution of injuries. I spoke with Kyle and he feels really good too. But the surgery was later than Kalvin so I don’t know.’

Guardiola said the sort of mistakes that resulted in Joao Cancelo’s sending off yesterday could be costly in Europe.

‘As a last man — whether it is soft contact or no contact — you cannot make contact,’ Guardiola said. ‘It’s a foul, he deserved a red card. I say to all the players, not just Joao, that after 85 minutes — late in the game — make a foul. But you have 65 minutes left, let them score.

‘OK, we have 65 minutes with 11 against 11. But this was too much with one man less. Hopefully we can learn. Not just Joao — it happened with Sergio (Gomez) in Copenhagen as well. Rely on Ederson — he can save it.

‘When I review the Champions League games I always see we give them something. Tottenham years ago, Sporting Lisbon we give them something. If today was a knockout game we are out.’

But Guardiola still praised his ‘exceptional’ players for controlling the 2-1 win, sealed by an Erling Haaland penalty that crept underneath Bernd Leno in stoppage time in the Norwegian’s comeback from a foot injury.

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