Phillips and Walker 'optimistic' over World Cup hopes, unlikely to play for Man City before break

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Kalvin Phillips and Kyle Walker are "optimistic" they can feature for England at the World Cup but are unlikely to play for Manchester City beforehand.

Phillips has played just one Premier League game for City since joining from Leeds United owing to a shoulder injury.

Walker, meanwhile, has not played since the October 2 win over Manchester United because of a groin issue on which he underwent surgery, giving England a problem at the right-back position, which has come under great scrutiny in the lead-up to the tournament.

England play their first game in Qatar against Iran on November 21.

Asked about Phillips and Walker, City manager Pep Guardiola said at a press conference ahead of their game with Leicester City: "They are not ready for Leicester.

"I think they are getting better, Kalvin especially, but they are out. Until after World Cup, they will not be ready [to play for City]."

On Phillips, he added: "He feels really well, his mobility in his shoulder is perfect. He has to avoid contact with his team-mates at the moment.

"We are surprised how quick his development [has been]. If he's fit and I believe he can play and he's ready, maybe he can take minutes but I don't know right now.

England manager Gareth Southgate's final 26-man squad for the World Cup will be announced on November 10.

"They are positive, optimistic," said Guardiola. "They are in touch with Gareth. I don't know, hopefully they can be ready to be selected."