Guardola weighing up Foden for Anfield showdown

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola could spring a major surprise by starting Phil Foden in Sunday's top-of-the-table clash against leaders Liverpool at Anfield.

The 19-year-old England under-21 midfielder is suspended for Wednesday’s Champions League tie at Atalanta, having picked up two yellow cards in the 5-1 rout of the Italian outfit last week.

According to Manchester City insiders, academy graduate Foden is being strongly considered to replace injured playmaker David Silva for the short trip to Merseyside.

The Spaniard is unavailable after he picked up a hamstring strain, forcing him to be substituted at half-time in Saturday’s late 2-1 comeback win at home to Southampton.

Foden has found starts hard to come by but the Stockport-born youngster has now been on the field from the first whistle in four of the last nine games nine for City, with two coming in his last four outings.

There have been growing calls for Foden, who is widely considered to be one of England’s brightest young talents, to be loaned out in January, in an effort to afford him more first-team opportunities.

City’s staff, however, have continued to maintain the teenager will not be going anywhere and that Foden is increasingly seen by Guardiola as a ‘trusted option’.

The Catalan earlier this year described the slightly-built schemer as the “best young talent he has managed”, raising plenty of eyebrows, considering he also gave Lionel Messi his chance at Barcelona.

It would certainly be a big call to let Foden pull the strings against Jurgen Klopp’s unbeaten team although he is already pencilled in as Silva’s successor, with the City legend bringing down the curtain on his decade-long stay at the Etihad next summer.

Foden is desperate to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of next summer’s European Championships, so starring in front of a highly-charged Kop would certainly go a long way to helping those aspirations.