There may well be some dead rubbers in the Champions League coming up where Phillips can start, but the next two home games feel like matches that could make up the player&aposs mind for good. If he can&apost make the XI for either Bournemouth or Young Boys at home, the 27-year-old needs to get a January move lined up immediately.
Pep Guardiola does not like leaving Phillips out, but the blunt reality is that he has better options that he picks ahead of him. Those now include Rico Lewis – picked at Arsenal ahead of him – while summer signings Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes have both jumped ahead.
A lot can change in the two months before the window opens, but if Phillips can&apost start either of these two upcoming home games it is unlikely his situation can be transformed.
Whisper it, but City have the potential to end 2023 with a perfect record at the Etihad. They have played 21 matches at their home ground since New Year&aposs Day and emerged victorious in every one.
That has been enough to set one record but they are still chasing a few others, including the six Premier League wins needed to beat a club record from the Roberto Mancini era and a record dating back to 1892 when Sunderland managed 24 wins consecutively in all competitions – two very different kinds of history.
Bournemouth were one of the few sides that avoided Erling Haaland netting against them at the Etihad last season. It didn&apost save them from a 4-0 defeat, but it was a very rare blip for him.
The Norwegian had a slow start to the season by his ridiculous standards but has shown signs of warming up as the weather goes the other way and can boast five from his last three games. If Bournemouth don&apost get their playing out from the back right, Haaland could really punish them.