Pep Guardiola confirms key player set to return for Man City clash with Brighton

The Manchester City manager spoke about three England internationals on Friday.

Pep Guardiola has given an encouraging update on three Manchester City players ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Blues have been without John Stones, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips for the past few weeks, but it’s hoped all three could return in time for the World Cup in November. Walker and Phillips have undergone surgery recently and are major doubts for the World Cup, especially with England set to select a provisional 55-man squad on Friday.

Meanwhile, Stones picked up a hamstring injury when representing the Three Lions during the latest international break, and has not played for City in over a month as a result. But the former Everton centre-back was pictured back in training on Thursday and speaking ahead of the weekend game against Brighton, confirmed Stones is back in contention.

“I didn’t speak with the doctors about Kyle. Hopefully it can happen and, if selected, he can make the [England] squad,” the Catalan told reporters on Friday. “John is training with us and tomorrow is in the list. Kalvin is incredibly much better as well. He is recovering really well.”

Guardiola also played down any talk of City having an added advantage for the game due to the fact they were the only Premier League side not in action during the week, while Brighton played out a 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest.

“One advantage in seven years, it’s not a problem,” he opined. “This will not be a difference. We are used to playing until the end of competitions in the last six years. The teams who don’t play in Europe always have an advantage compared to teams who play in Europe.

“If you take this point, we could not win the games because they were better, they will rest. This is not important, it’s important to be ready mentally, rest a lot to prepare [for] the game. Normally we play in games and the other ones have more time to rest. Do we complain? Never. It is what it is. When we play against Arsenal other teams will rest and we are going to play the game.”