herald

Wednesday 26 June 2019

De Bruyne and Aguero poised to return for City

Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne (left)
Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne (left)

Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne could both return as champions Manchester City face Everton today.

Aguero, City's record scorer, has missed the last four games with a groin injury while playmaker De Bruyne has been troubled by knee injuries all season.

Belgian De Bruyne has been restricted to just three Premier League substitute appearances and has not featured at all since the first week of November.

City boss Pep Guardiola said of Aguero: "He did the last training session with the team. He has no pain in his injury so afterwards we are going to decide."

On De Bruyne, Guardiola said: "The same as Sergio, he trained quite well, no pain. We'll see."

The pair's return would ease a lengthy injury list that left Guardiola with just 15 senior fit players for the midweek Champions League clash against Hoffenheim.

Former Everton defender John Stones - who was substituted at half-time on Wednesday with a knee problem - Fernandinho and Danilo will also be assessed ahead of the Toffees' visit to the Etihad Stadium in today's early kick-off.

Guardiola said: "Yesterday Stones was in treatment and today we train at 4pm.

"We'll see how the players feel because when you have just 60 hours for recovery between the games it is difficult. We will see."

Plans

David Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo remain on the sidelines.

Guardiola insisted the recent spate of injuries will not change City's January transfer plans.

"No, we are not going to sign anyone," said the former Barcelona head coach.

City are looking to get back to winning ways in the league after a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea last Saturday saw them knocked off the top by Liverpool.

But Everton have proved difficult opposition for Guardiola since he took charge at City.

He's won just one of his four meetings with them. City were thrashed 4-0 at Goodison in January 2017 and their two most recent meetings in Manchester have ended 1-1.

Everton are seventh after making a promising start under new manager Marco Silva.

Guardiola added: "It's important to win again. Last season when we dropped points we were able to make another big run, winning games and winning games.

"We've dropped points against Everton here but this is another game. Everton have completely changed their team in terms of players - Bernard, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Lucas Digne, Yerry Mina. I'm really impressed how well they do.

"It will be a tough game after the Champions League."

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