clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sky Blue News: City UCL Opponents, Pep on Bernardo, Phillips Injury, and More...

It’s Friday!!! Get your headlines here!!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

UEFA Champions League 2022/23 Group Stage Draw Photo by Lukas Schulze - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

The weekend is upon us, and City are gearing up for a home fixture against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Before we get to game day, let’s get you caught up on everything that went down on an eventful Thursday for the Sky Blues.

Liverpool draw Rangers in Champions League group stages, Man City get Borussia Dortmund - Sky Sports

No group of death for City, but nothing comes easy in Europe for the Mancunian Blues.

Erling Haaland will get a speedy reunion with former club Borussia Dortmund after Manchester City, last season’s beaten semi-finalists, were drawn against the German club, Sevilla and FC Copenhagen in Group G.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW: CITY TO FACE SEVILLA, DORTMUND AND COPENHAGEN - John Edwards - Gets you set for what will be a fast and furious group stage this fall.

Group stage fixture dates are still to be determined, but we will bring you confirmation on and the official app as soon as they are finalised.

We do know that all group stage games will take place before the season pauses for the World Cup.

The match dates are as follows:

Matchday 1: 6/7 September

Matchday 2: 13/14 September

Matchday 3: 4/5 October

Matchday 4: 11/12 October

Matchday 5: 25/26 October

Matchday 6: 1/2 November

Ticket and travel information for all six fixtures will follow in due course.

Man City face Erling Haaland reunion with Borussia Dortmund in UEFA Champions League group stage - Jack Flintham - Manchester Evening News

A homecoming for Haaland as he gets to visit his old stomping ground with his new mates.

Teams in the same federation can also not face each other until the quarter-final stages of the Champions League meaning that Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur were also avoided. Following the draw in Istanbul, we now know that City will face Sevilla, Borussia Dortmund and FC Copenhagen in Group G.

It means that Erling Haaland will face a quick reunion with his former club, following his summer move to Manchester from the German side.

The first round of fixtures in the Champions League will be played on September 6/7 before the remaining matchdays occur on September 13/14, October 4/5, October 11/12, October 25/26 and November 1/2. Matches are crammed into a shorter time period due to the winter World Cup which begins on Sunday, November 20.

Bernardo Silva: Pep Guardiola says Manchester City midfielder ‘likes Barcelona a lot’ amid transfer speculation - Sky Sports

Just when you thought the Silva saga had ended, the manager throws some more fuel on that fire.

Silva played 65 minutes of a friendly between City and Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night and afterwards Guardiola spoke about the midfielder’s future.

Guardiola insisted he was keen to keep hold of the 28-year-old, who has won four Premier League titles at City, and underlined that no offer had been made from Barcelona for the player, despite reports outlining the Spanish side’s interest in him over the past two summers.

However, he accepted Bernardo has an affection for Guardiola’s former side.

“I’m no one to tell Barca to forget about (signing) Bernardo,” Guardiola told reporters after the friendly contest finished 3-3.

“We want him to stay with us, but I don’t want anyone who’s not happy. The first thing would be for the clubs to come to an agreement, but there has been no offer for him in these last two years.

Man City given encouragement over Kalvin Phillips after injury blow - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News

Some good news about Kalvin after what looked like a bad shoulder injury on Wednesday evening.

Phillips impressed against Barcelona in the holding midfield role - his first start for the club - but signalled to the bench immediately that he needed to come off after a clash around the hour mark that saw him take a blow to his arm and shoulder. The former Leeds star has previously suffered two significant shoulder injuries and looked in discomfort when he reappeared at full-time.

Losing Phillips for any length of time would be a considerable blow for a squad that is incredibly small to be competing in four competitions. City’s first Champions League match is in under two weeks while they are also in midweek action in the Premier League next week as all organisers look to cram fixtures in before the winter World Cup.

However, City are relaxed over the extent of the blow and the player did not seem overly concerned either. Phillips will have further assessments over the next few days before a decision is made over his availability for Crystal Palace at home this weekend.

The Blues will be looking to bounce back in the league after drawing 3-3 at Newcastle last time out, and Guardiola also knows that further dropped points would place more scrutiny on their trip to Barcelona. There can be no doubting the good intentions behind raising funds to help a friend and help fight a horrible illness, but adding an extra fixture to an already-busy schedule places more scrutiny on the manager to ensure his team is fresh enough.

Manchester City receive Kalvin Phillips fitness boost ahead of Crystal Palace clash - Vayam Lahoti - City Xtra

He may even be ready for Palace on the weekend.

The England international suffered a blow to his right shoulder and signalled to the bench he wanted to come off immediately after as a result of the challenge.

Rodri replaced the 26-year-old, who looked set to face a race against time to be involved against Palace on Saturday.

However, Manchester City have been handed a key boost in their hopes of having Phillips available to face the Eagles.


And finally... Despite injuries to Phillips and young defender Luke Mbete, Pep was very flattering of the event as a whole, as well he should be.

Speaking in a post-match press conference alongside Mr Unzue and Barcelona manager Xavi, Guardiola was grateful to all involved on the day.

“It has been a great honour being here. It’s been a successful day,” he said.

“Thanks to all the people who came because they contributed to the cause. The artist here is Unzué, who made this possible, because of his stubbornness and all his people pushing and pushing to do it.

“It’s been a beautiful summer night, the stadium was full, and it was a fun game, six goals, chances for both sides. Congratulations”.

That’s it for the headlines. Be on the lookout for all the build-up to Crystal Palace right here at Bitter and Blue.