Pep Guardiola provides Julian Alvarez, Kalvin Phillips update ahead of Everton clash


Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Julian Alvarez will return after Manchester City’s Premier League clash at home against Everton on New Year’s Eve.

The 22-year-old played at starring role for 2022 World Cup winners Argentina in Qatar and was then granted time off to celebrate in Buenos Aires and spent time with his family.

Alvarez contributed with four goals and one assist in five starts for La Albiceleste, including two goals and an assist in the 3-0 semi-final victory over Croatia.

The forward is yet to return to the club from his homeland, but Guardiola has provided an update on when Citizens supporters can see the World Cup winner back in first-team training.

Asked about Alvarez’s availability at a press conference on Friday, Guardiola said: “He will come back soon. After New Year’s Eve he will be here.

“He’s coming back fit, he’s in condition to train and after we decide.”

The vast majority of Man City’s 16 players who represented their country at the World Cup have featured for the Premier League champions since the restart, with Guardiola’s side beating Liverpool 3-2 in the EFL Cup before securing a 3-1 top-flight victory away at Leeds United on Wednesday.

England midfielder Kalvin Phillips is yet to get minutes under his belt since returning from Qatar, but he was an unused substitute against his former club Leeds in midweek and Guardiola has revealed that the 27-year-old is available for selection against Everton.

“He is coming back fit,” Guardiola added. “He is in condition to train at a high level and to play, and after we will decide.”

Man City impressed with a dominant showing against Leeds last time out and victory at Elland Road helped them move back to within five points of league leaders Arsenal.

The Citizens are now preparing for an encounter with an out-of-sorts Everton side, who sit just one point above the relegation zone, and Guardiola has called for his players to be “ready” for the quick turnaround during a busy festive schedule.

“The last two games against Liverpool and Leeds were so demanding – the high pressing and intensity from both teams. We handled it well,” the Spaniard added.

“I don’t know what Everton is going to do. If they defend deep we have to know how to handle that, the transition from [Jordan] Pickford is so fast.

“The quality is there – we have a feeling Everton have exceptional, really good players. In this period of the calendar it can be a problem. Just three days after the game against Leeds, which was so demanding. We have to be ready again.”

Man City will be confident of success on Saturday as they have won each of their last 10 meetings with Everton, scoring at least two goals on nine of those occasions, including a 3-0 league win at the Etihad Stadium last season.

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