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Monday 5 December 2016

Kevin De Bruyne in line to make his debut for Man City as David Silvia ruled out for trip to Palace

Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City playmaker David Silva will miss Saturday's Premier League game at Crystal Palace with an ankle injury, but €58m signing Kevin De Bruyne could make his debut in the Spaniard's absence.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini will not risk Silva for the clash and the midfielder has joined Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Fabian Delph on the injury list.

Delph, a close-season signing from Aston Villa, is expected to be out for around six weeks, Pellegrini said, after he picked up a hamstring injury playing for England against Switzerland.

"The injury list is Zabaleta, he has a problem with his knee and Gael Clichy. Also, Fabian Delph has a hamstring injury," Pellegrini told reporters on Friday.

"Those three and David Silva has a kick in his ankle.

"Silva is out for tomorrow as I think it would be a risk for him to take another knock. I hope he will be OK for Juventus (in the Champions League on Tuesday).

"Fabian worked with us before he went to his national squad -- he worked without problems and he played some minutes with our team. It's very unlucky to have that injury but it happens.

"I don't know how long Fabian will be out -- we'll see. I think at this moment it will be a month and a half."

Silva's injury has opened the door for De Bruyne to make his City bow, following his move from VfL Wolfsburg, with Pellegrini hailing the attacking flexibility of his summer capture.

"Kevin is an important player, like Raheem (Sterling), he has characteristics we need," Pellegrini said.

"His position is easy to settle in our team. He will be a very important player for us. He's in the squad list, we'll see tomorrow whether he starts...

"I think that he can play in all three (attacking) positions, on the wings or as a striker with no problems."

City will put their 100 percent record to the test against a Palace side who are also flying high, having won three of their first four games.

A remarkable 2-1 victory at Chelsea before the international break moved Palace up to second in the table behind City, who they beat 2-1 in the corresponding fixture last season.

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