Manchester City will look to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table as they host Stoke City this weekend.
A win over Chelsea ahead of the international break solidifed their place as title favourites, and the two-week break from domestic action has allowed some of their star names to further recover from injury.
Stoke, meanwhile, have endured an inconsistent campaign thus far and sit in midtable ahead of Saturday’s tie.
MANCHESTER CITY INJURIES
Sergio Aguero has returned to training after suffering a broken rib in a car accident ahead of the Chelsea match and may come into contention.
Benjamin Mendy will surely miss out after undergoing knee ligament surgery, but Fabian Delph may have shaken off the knock that saw him withdraw from the latest England squad.
Vincent Kompany, however, could also return to the matchday squad having been out for over a month with a calf injury, though he did not feature for Belgium in either of their recent World Cup qualifiers.
Ilkay Gundogan could also come into contention for a start having come off the bench in the closing stages of the win over Chelsea.
MAN CITY’S POTENTIAL STARTING LINEUP
With a crucial Champions League match against Napoli coming up on Tuesday, Guardiola could make a number of changes for the visit of the Potters.
Aguero may not be risked from the start given his injury, meaning Gabriel Jesus will lead the line on his own having scored twice for Brazil in midweek.
His international team-mate Fernandinho could be rested with Gundogan having returned to fitness while Bernardo Silva could earn a rare league start should Guardiola choose to rest one of his attacking midfielders.
Fabian Delph will likely deputise for Benjamin Mendy at left-back, though Danilo could then replace him in Europe in midweek.
STOKE CITY TEAM NEWS
Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross continues to miss out with a back injury that has kept him on the sidelines since the end of August.
Fellow defenders Bruno Martins Indi and Geoff Cameron are also fitness doubts, with the latter not set to return to the club from international duty with the USA until Friday.
Joe Allen, meanwhile, had to be replaced in the first half of Wales’s defeat to Republic of Ireland with concussion and may be forced to sit out on Saturday.
OPTA MATCH FACTS
- Manchester City have kept a shutout in eight of their nine Premier League home matches against Stoke (W7 D1 L1) – only against Aston Villa (9) have they kept more clean sheets on home soil.
- Stoke City have either kept a clean sheet (3) or conceded exactly four goals (3) in each of their last six Premier League games against Manchester City (W2 D1 L3).
- Manchester City have won their last two home games in the Premier League each by a 5-0 scoreline – the only other Premier League side to record three consecutive home wins each by a five or more goal margin were Chelsea in 2010 under Carlo Ancelotti.
- Stoke have lost 15 of their last 16 away top-flight matches (D1) against teams who’ve started that day in top spot – their last away win against a side top of the league came in April 1972 against Manchester City under Tony Waddington.
- Only one goalkeeper has conceded fewer goals in his first seven Premier League starts than Ederson (2) – Petr Cech, who conceded once.