When deciding who to replace Rodri with against Wolves tomorrow, Pep Guardiola has said he will look for a man who provides something slightly different from the holding midfielder.
The Spaniard received a red card against Nottingham Forest last weekend, and is now serving the second of a three-game suspension. Although the England international has started just two Premier League games for the club—both of which came after the team won the league title last season—Kalvin Phillips was always expected to fill in at Newcastle in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
Phillips has a chance to keep his spot, although Kovacic and Matheus Nunes, who is making his first trip back to Molineux since his contentious exit, may also be utilised in that capacity.
The Blues are still without Bernardo Silva, John Stones, and Kevin De Bruyne, but Guardiola acknowledges Rodri is difficult to replace due to his role as a fixture in the lineup and suggests using a different sort of player.
Because of the number of minutes he has played, he is challenging to replace, according to Guardiola. He’s absent, so we’ll utilise his absence to our advantage by identifying qualities Rodri lacked.
When told that this could be an opportunity to try something new, Guardiola responded, “We’re going to try to do similar things to what we’ve done.”
After Rodri was sent off against Forest, Phillips came off the bench. He later declared that this was the biggest week of his City career. The £42 million guy had the option of leaving in the summer but chose to remain and contend for his position.
Guardiola, though, claimed his skill set was best suited for a specific class of opponents and gave no assurances about his position in the team.
Like the other candidates, he has a chance. When he doesn’t play, he still makes a tremendous contribution to the team, he said.
“I have no complaints,” I said. Sometimes we search for a certain item. If another team have the necessary talents, Kalvin is ideal; nevertheless, if the game depends entirely on minute details, he struggles more. Newcastle was physically strong and had a harsh exterior. He made it possible for us to defeat Forest.