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Sky Blue News: Pep Presser, Kalvin Returns, Chelsea Preview, and More...

League Cup Matchday headlines from Bitter and Blue.

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Manchester City v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Manchester City are ready to start their League Cup journey against Chelsea FC. Sky Blue News has the latest to get you set for tonight’s match at the Etihad.


The Norwegian came off the bench against Fulham at the weekend to score the winning goal in added time – as well as seeing an earlier effort ruled out by VAR – having missed the previous two matches.

But the City boss indicated he hasn’t made a complete recovery and cannot confirm whether he will be involved in our Carabao Cup Third Round game against Chelsea on Wednesday.

“He is still not perfect still,” said Guardiola.

“We will see tomorrow and Saturday [ahead of the Premier League game against Brentford]. He is getting better.

Pep Talk: “The coaches prepare the game to win the game.” - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Pep Guardiola is here as the manager spoke prior to the huge EFL Cup clash with Chelsea. The Catalan tackled injuries, Chelsea and match congestion.

Let’s dive right in-


“I don’t decide [yet], we have training this afternoon. We have time until tomorrow night. The coaches prepare the game to win the game. Performance as good as possible...”

“The #PL exists to support the academy, always thinking about the future of English football...”

On new signings

“Man City are not going to sign anyone in January. We have the squad...”

ON Haaland

“He’s not perfect still. We’ll see tomorrow. Important is the bone is not broken. Just ligament damage a little bit. Not perfect right now. A week, ten days, see what happens. If he feels good, he plays [for] Norway...”

“He will be back with the squad tomorrow...” - Pep Guardiola pre Chelsea Press Conference - Colin Cranmer - City Report

Pep Guardiola spoke to the press ahead of Manchester City’s Carabao Cup third round tie against last season’s finalists Chelsea on Wednesday at the Etihad. The City boss discussed the fitness of Saturday’s match winning hero Erling Haaland, as well as how the blues are going to act in the January transfer window, and if Kalvin Phillips could make his return on Wednesday night.

Kalvin Phillips and Kyle Walker:

“He [Kalvin Phillips] will be with the squad [tomorrow], yeah.”

“No. [Kyle Walker won’t play].”

“Ask Gareth [Southgate] [about the England squad]. They are communicating with the physios for England. Part of that I cannot answer.”

Kalvin Phillips credits Man City teammate and Pep Guardiola with roles in injury recovery - Alex Brotherton & Isaac Johnson - Manchester Evening News

Phillips is anxiously waiting to find out whether or not he will be included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming World Cup. The midfielder has played just 13 minutes of competitive football for Manchester City since arriving from Leeds in the summer, and when it became clear in September that he required surgery on his shoulder after it dislocated for a fourth time, his place on the plane to Qatar appeared in serious jeopardy.

The 26-year-old was keen to point out that it wasn’t just his hard work and determination that has given him a fighting chance of going to the World Cup - his manager Guardiola has been a huge help.

“Pep’s been great. Every time I’ve been injured I think to myself ‘bet he’s sick of me, getting injured all the time’. It’s just part of football and Pep understands that,” Phillips said.

Confirmed Match Officials: Manchester City vs Chelsea (Carabao) - City Xtra

City beat Fulham with a stoppage time penalty at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, as Erling Haaland marked his return from injury with a goal from the penalty spot.

Julian Alvarez gave the Blues the lead prior to Andreas Pereira converting a penalty for the Cottagers.

Ahead of Wednesday’s meeting in the third round of the Carabao Cup, the Match Officials for the tie have been announced.

Match Referee

Simon Hooper will take charge of proceedings at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Hooper has taken charge of nine games so far this season, showing 26 yellow cards and no red cards.

The referee last officiated City in September, when the Blues drew 1-1 with Aston Villa in the Midlands.

Manchester City v Chelsea FC: 4 Questions with Dávid Pásztor of We Ain’t Got No History - CITYZENDuck - Bitter and Blue

I was able to get some time with Dávid Pásztor of our sister site We Ain’t Got No History to catch us up on all that’s been happening with the West Londoners.

CITYZENDuck: Chelsea have long been a club that grabs headlines. That may be even more true this season. New owner, transfer spending records, managerial change. What has it been like following the club through so many plot twists?

Dávid Pásztor: Indeed, there’s never a boring day at Chelsea, as we like to say, but the last 12-18 months have taken that to a whole new level. From winning the Champions League, to breaking club transfer records, to sanctions, to a forced change in ownership, to a surprise sacking, we’ve just about had it all, and then some.

Sometimes, all we wish for is a normal day.

That said, you take the good with the bad and enjoy the good times while you can. The future seems as unclear as it’s been in decades, and that’s scary but also exciting in a way.

And finally... Phil is flattered by the comparison.

Foden reacts to ‘Stockport Iniesta’ nickname as Man City star continues to be compared with Barcelona great - Chris Burton -

WHAT HAPPENED? The England international playmaker has drawn comparisons with a World Cup-winning midfielder ever since he stepped out of a famed academy system at the Etihad Stadium and onto a senior stage. Foden is now a household name in his own right, as a Premier League title winner and integral part of the Three Lions set-up, but the 22-year-old remains reluctant to place himself in a similar talent bracket to a legend at Camp Nou.

WHAT THEY SAID: Foden has told Esquire of a moniker bestowed upon him by adoring City supporters: “It’s a nice compliment but I’ve no idea why. He [Andres Iniesta] was just too good.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Foden is currently preparing himself for a shot at World Cup glory, which Iniesta savoured with Spain in 2010, and has been reflecting on the disappointment of seeing an untimely injury rob him of the chance of turning out for England in the Euro 2020 final. He added: “[I was] just walking in from training and someone’s passed me a ball and I’ve decided to do a stupid touch and gone over on my foot. I felt a crack in the top of my foot and I couldn’t walk. I knew straight away. The full world was watching, talking about the final, and here’s me got injured just before probably the biggest game of my life.”

There you have it. Stay with us at Bitter and Blue throughout the day for all the latest in the build-up to the match against Chelsea, and follow @BitterandBlue1 for all the reactions.