Why Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne are on Man City bench vs Southampton

Having left them as unused substitutes in the FA Cup win over Chelsea at the weekend, the Manchester City manager suggested before the game that their rhythm for Saturday&aposs derby would not be upset if they went nine days without a match. That theory is now set to be tested after Guardiola named both on the bench for Wednesday&aposs Carabao Cup test against Southampton.

City&aposs coach pointed to the good mood and form of Julian Alvarez to lead the line ahead of Haaland and also indicated his subs could be used in the second half as he reminded everyone that the decisions were not out of character with his career.

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“All my career I play everyone. Maybe in the second half they will play a few minutes,” he told Sky. “There is no special reason. Julian played very good, he is in a good mood.”

Kalvin Phillips gets his first competitive start for City following his summer move from Leeds, having missed a large chunk of the season with a shoulder injury. Guardiola wants the midfielder to start putting pressure on Rodri for a starting place so that he does not overwork the Spaniard.

“We are still alive in everything so 11 players cannot run every game. We need everyone as as much he can play and understand the rhythm is important. it is a perfect competition to do it in.”

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