Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne close to Manchester City returns
Aguero and De Bruyne are set to boost City’s squad ahead of the festive schedule.
Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne could both return to action as champions Manchester City face Everton this weekend.
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.
The Belgian has been restricted to just three substitute appearances in the Premier League and not featured at all since the first week of November.
Manager 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 added: “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 Champions League clash against Hoffenheim in midweek.
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 on Saturday.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, 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.”
David Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Claudio Bravo remain on the sidelines.
Guardiola added that the recent spate of injuries will not change City’s plans in January.
“No, we are not going to sign anyone,” said Guardiola, who joined in the City staff Christmas jumper day by sporting some festive knitwear.
City are looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League after defeat at Chelsea last weekend saw them knocked off the top of the table by Liverpool.
Last season one of the secrets was when we dropped points we were able to make another big run. Pep Guardiola
Everton, however, have proved difficult opposition for Guardiola since he took charge at City. The Spaniard has won just one of his four meetings with the Merseysiders. City were thrashed 4-0 at Goodison Park in January 2017 and their two most recent meetings in Manchester have ended 1-1.
Everton are currently seventh in the table after making a promising start under new manager Marco Silva.
Guardiola said: “Of course, it’s important (to win again). Last season one of the secrets was when we dropped points we were able to make another big run, winning games and winning games. It’s important but we must focus on what we have to do and try to beat them.
“We’ve dropped points (against Everton) here but tomorrow’s 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. The people yesterday were so tired. We’ll see how we react.”