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"Hopefully I'll have as good a time as Aguero" - Pep Guardiola & Julian Alvarez pre Sevilla Presser

Pep Guardiola and Julian Alvarez spoke to the press ahead of Manchester City's final Champions League group stage match against Sevilla at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola gave fitness updates on Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, and Kyle Walker, as well as discussing the opposition Sevilla's European heritage. Julian Alvarez was talking Sergio Aguero, Erling Haaland, and how he has settled in in Manchester, as well as the difference between River Plate and City.


The boss on squad availability:

"We train this afternoon, sorry [no news]."
"I have to see the training. Four days, recovery is three. We play Brighton, in Germany. I take a look. The players who don't play regularly will play. Potentially they [Cole Palmer and Rico Lewis] play but let me see the training session."

Erling Haaland available?

"No, tomorrow not available."
"He feels better. Comparing to Saturday, Sunday, Monday, every day feels better. Still not 100%, we don't want to take a risk. Hopefully we have him against Fulham [on Saturday]."

Kalvin Phillips first, then Kyle Walker:

"He's doing partial training session with the team, not contact yet. We'll see his evolution. I know how important is the World Cup, but I don't use a player I don't think is ready. I feel the games will be tight. At the end of the season, lots of things involved. I don't think against Fulham [he can play], just for the quality of the opponent, even Brentford in the first half. Will be tight, so we evaluate the conditions."
"Kyle [Walker] - I'm impressed how quick his recovery but still a bit late compared to Kalvin [Phillips]."
"It's likely [they will be available for the World Cup], the way they recover. I don't know intentions for Gareth [Southgate]. He spoke with them regularly. They know better than me, What I hear in the dressing rooms, [they] can be ready. You don't play a World Cup every week..."

Pep Guardiola at the press conference
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Cole Palmer in contention?

"Yes, he trained after the game and trained really well. He doesn't have to show me nothing. If he plays, [depends on] I speak with staff and doctors and decide. He has all the attributes to play with us. Every game [we] want players to play their best. Not tomorrow, [he doesn't have] to prove anything, [it's] his opportunity. We have Phil [Foden], we have the future. Tomorrow, Sevilla is prestigious in Spain and Europe, I'd love to have their trophy cabinet [in Europe]."

Julian Alvarez improvement:

"Of course he can improve like everyone, all of us. We are delighted the way he settles. As a person, respect for everyone. Humble, incredible work ethic. Tomorrow he has another opportunity."

We all remember Kyle Walker's red card in Leipzig:

"Definitely, after what happened with Kyle last season [it is a danger]. We want to win the game, continue practice things. The players see themselves how good they are, for the prestigious, we have to do it. What happened last season, in the last 16 tie, more players we can use, will be better."

Concussion substitutes:

"Concussion is concussion. If you get kick on the head, be careful. Knee, ankle, okay, but head is head. When you see the player, it's better not to take risks. I support completely. It's too dangerous. I'm not a doctor, I don't know what is best, what I hear what happened in the head, all the doctors say we take the responsibility. After if someone doesn't want, I'm a point of view in my early years as manager, Barcelona B, fourth division, pitches no grass, a lot of contact. Everyone said [if you have a] concussion should retire off the pitch. As much prudent you are, the better."

World Cup talk:

"No [I'm not going]. Home with the red wine is the best way to watch. We'll have one or two days off, reintroduce here, in Abu Dhabi maybe. Maybe have a game for the rhythm. We come back to England and be ready as much as possible."
"[It's] important [to give fringe player a chance] but not [just] for that game [against Sevilla]. When we come back in one month and a half, depends on Carabao Cup, one month and a half. Important for the minutes to see them, to play as good as possible and that's all. Game time now won't influence after the World Cup. I don't know how people come back from World Cup, no managers know exactly what will happen. See what happens game by game."
"Definitely [a chance for everyone to recharge], like international breaks. All staff, good to take a break. Unfortunately for players cannot happen. The next few days after the game I don't look but I talk with staff, more time to analyse. One week, ten days to refresh minds."
"We will try, maybe in two, three weeks for these guys in winter in Manchester. Take a break, for staff go there [Abu Dhabi]. Good weather, our owners are there. We are going to do that. I would say right after or few days after we come back from ten days off. After Brentford one or two days off, after we come back we travel. Not confirmed but we will try."


Now, Julian Alvarez:

"[The Champions League is a] massive competition on a worldwide scale. Best players in the world. I want to help the side whenever I can do."

Competing with Erling Haaland:

"It's a privilege, always great to play alongside the best players in the world. He's important for us, we're as old as each other but we can both learn from each other. We both want to bring the best for the team."
"We're very different players but people have to adapt to different play and styles when players line up. I like to occupy different positions. At River [Plate] there were other players who were goal scorers, I'm used to these situations. I trust my ability and other players trust me as well."

Julian Alvarez at the press conference
Photo courtesy of Getty Imaes

Sergio Aguero inspiration:

"We all know what Kun did here, had a fantastic time here. Amazing performances, great goals. All the Argentinians here have done well. When I arrived I wanted him as a reference, everyone remembers him with great affection."
"I'm happy to bring 100% effort and commitment and hopefully I'll have as good a time at the club as he did. When I knew I might be coming, I had a chat with him, had regular contact over six months with him and other international players, what's the place like and the club. Always good to have as much information as you can."

From starter to Pep's rotation:

"You have to accept it, I've not got huge experience of lots of teams. At River [Plate] I had times not playing regularly, I don't play all the time with the national team. I try and train all the time so I'm ready. Hopefully carry out what the management want on the field."

Not much space against Leicester:

"Lots of teams come here and sit back and wait for us to come to them. [It is] difficult to find space, lots of players in little space. As a striker, lots of players around me - hard to get time on the ball. But our style is very intense, we try and win the ball back quickly, that's part of my job. If I have to make more runs off the ball, that's what I'll do."

More World Cup talk:

"We know about the World Cup, we know it's a short time away but [we have] lots to do here. We know what we have to do on a daily basis at [Manchester] City. Plenty of time to think about the World Cup when we get to the national team."

Lionel Messi, a team-mate with Argentina:

"You learn just watching him, [he is] difficult to copy. He's the best player in the world, I've been lucky to share a dressing room and training pitch with him. Now I've got a chance to play alongside him - he can help my game."

Pep said Argentina are World Cup faves:

"It came out having a chat with teammates. I don't know if he said it with conviction. We're on a good road, it's a tough tournament. You have to concentrate on every detail, every game can hurt you. We've got a chance, [we are] confident, and we can have a good tournament."


Written by: @coIgcra

Some quotes as quoted by Manchester Evening News and Manchester City.

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